Pucovski and Green among five uncapped players in Australia Test squad

Australia Burns

Australia have wittled down their training group to a Test squad of 17 to face India which includes five players yet to earn their Baggy Green Cap.

Victoria’s Pucovski and Western Australia’s Cameron Green could be in line to make their international debut.

Spinner Mitchell Swepson and seam-bowling allrounders Michael Neser and Sean Abbott could also make their Test debuts in the four-match series against India.

In a change from previous assignments, Pat Cummins was named the sole vice-captain of the Test team. Wicketkeeper Tim Paine remains the Test captain for now even as pressure mounts on the veteran gloveman.

Pucovski and Green demand selection

National Selector Trevor Hohns believes strong Shield performances from a core of players bodes well for Australian cricket’s future.

“What we saw in the opening rounds of the Marsh Sheffield Shield were a number of players performing exceptionally well. It is such a positive sign for Australian cricket to have so many good young players stepping into contention for the Test and Australia A selection,” Hohns said.

“Huge praise should go to the South Australian Cricket Association, the coaches, players and all those involved in delivering such a high quality block of Shield matches in challenging circumstances. The SACA went above and beyond to deliver great quality wickets and conditions for the players to thrive.

“Two of those many standout players were of course Cameron Green and Will Pucovski. Their undeniable form demanded selection and we are very pleased to have these young men in the squad for what will be a tremendous Test Series against an extremely formidable opponent.

“Cameron has already won selection in the white ball squad and continues that in joining the Test squad. He is a wonderful young talent who has great potential to become an allrounder of substance over time. His batting alone has demanded his place in the squad.

“Will’s record breaking start to the summer has been exceptional. His ability to show such patience is something which stands him in good stead for Test cricket and he is in rare company with two double centuries to start the summer. We very much look forward to Will developing further on the international stage.

“Mitch Swepson is another who has excelled and is in fine form for Queensland. He gives the side a strong second spin option to Nathan Lyon and we feel he is ready and deserving of the opportunity.

“Sean Abbott has also been outstanding at the start of the summer and comes in to his first Test squad as a very strong fast bowling option. Add that to his recent batting form over the last 12 months he presents a very complete package in the squad.”

A 19-player Australia A squad has also been selected to play India A and India in tour matches at Drummoyne Oval and the Sydney Cricket Ground. That squad includes nine players from the Test squad including captain Paine.

Australia squads

Australia Test squad: Tim Paine (c), Sean Abbott, Joe Burns, Pat Cummins, Cameron Green, Josh Hazlewood, Travis Head, Marnus Labuschagne, Nathan Lyon, Michael Neser, James Pattinson, Will Pucovski, Steve Smith, Mitchell Starc, Mitchell Swepson, Matthew Wade, David Warner

Australia A squad: Sean Abbott, Ashton Agar, Joe Burns, Jackson Bird, Alex Carey (wk), Harry Conway, Cameron Green, Marcus Harris, Travis Head, Moises Henriques, Nic Maddinson, Mitchell Marsh (subject to fitness), Michael Neser, Tim Paine, James Pattinson, Will Pucovski, Mark Steketee, Will Sutherland, Mitchell Swepson