There were some notable exclusions from Australia's 16-man Ashes squad, some more surprising than others.
There were 10 notable exclusions from Australia's 16-man Ashes squad, some more surprising than others…
<b>Glenn Maxwell:</b> Maxwell spoke a big game about his aspirations as a Test cricketer, waxing lyrically enough to fool his way into the squad in India. He never looked the part with the bat, and was more of a nets bowler than anything else. Limited-overs competition must remain his forte for now.
<b>Mitchell Johnson:</b> Johnson's selection for the tour of India was a surprising one, but suggested the selectors were eager to reinvest faith in the temperamental fast bowler for the foreseeable future. Ultimately, it was an isolated choice – and the emergence of James Faulkner will instead afford Mitchell Starc a fellow left-arm seamer.
<b>Steven Smith:</b> Australia clutched at a lot of straws in India, where none looked more desperate than the selection of Smith as a specialist number five batsman. The leg-spinner that never was, though, held his own – and consider himself the unluckiest of the lot not to be going to England.
<b>Xavier Doherty:</b> Doherty was entirely ordinary on the sub-continent, and lack of selection for the A side acknowledges that he won't be first in line when John Inverarity comes knocking for additional spin resources.
<b>Moises Henriques:</b> Henriques proved a solid performer with the bat in India, but really didn't cut it with the ball. True, conditions were far from conducive to seam bowling, but again Faulkner seems a far better bet as a seaming all-rounder.
<b>Shaun Marsh:</b> Under the guidance of Justin Langer, Marsh pushed himself back into the picture, and was a heavy favourite 24 hours before the squad announcement. Big runs for Western Australia and a recent century for the A side against the English Lions had certainly helped his case, but ultimately not enough.
<b>Ben Hilfenhaus:</b> Australia's veritable workhorse has been discarded again, along with his genuine swing bowling. At 30 years old, Hilfenhaus still has a lot to give – rotation policy considered – and the team will miss his penchant for lengthy spells in England.
<b>John Hastings:</b> Rather bulky in size and pretty prone to injury, Hastings was not ready for the biggest stage in South Africa late last year. The five-day game soon took its toll, returning him back to the domestic game. And that's where he will stay.
<b>Rob Quiney:</b> Quiney endured a torrid debut series against South Africa late last year, but experience through some fine form for Essex – at grounds and in conditions Australia will have to adapt to during a lengthy Ashes tour – had him in the frame. Alas, Usman Khawaja has been retained instead.
<b>Ashton Agar:</b> Agar toured India in a developmental capacity and has been named in the A squad. If the need for a second fiddle to Lyon is noticed, the young spinner will probably the first hauled in – for a baptism of fire his 19-year-old shoulders might not be able to handle.
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