David Warner keeps place as Australia name squad to start Ashes

English-born wicketkeeper Josh Inglis will be eyeing a Test debut while opener David Warner has retained his spot in Australia’s initial squad for this summer’s Ashes.

Pat Cummins will lead the 17-man squad with Steve Smith as his deputy, while opener Marcus Harris, all-rounder Mitch Marsh and Inglis are recalled.

The squad covers the World Test Championship final against India at The Oval on June 7-11 and the opening two Ashes Tests, starting at Edgbaston on June 16.

Australia Nets and Press Conference – Monday January 3rd – Sydney Cricket Ground
Australia’s Steve Smith has been picked in the 17-man squad to tour England in June. (Jason O’Brien, PA)

Peter Handscomb and spinners Ashton Agar, Mitchell Swepson and Matt Kuhnemann have been left out from the squad which toured India, but Warner retains his place despite a run of low scores.

Chairman of selectors George Bailey said: “Not specifically to Dave but I think we’ll get through that Test championship, obviously we’re planning behind the scenes, but have a look at what that looks like when we get there, different opposition and different surface in terms of going to The Oval to start the Ashes so we’ll work through that.

“We see value in revisiting the squad following the second Ashes Test, given the short turnaround between the WTC final and the first Ashes Test, along with the length of the tour.

“The way we are looking at that is the culmination of what’s been a pretty consistent two years for a bunch of guys, which fundamentally has been a similar team for a long period of time so we are confident that’s a team and that’s a makeup that can have success.”

He said the Australian approach to “Bazball” – the brand of attacking cricket which has seen England flourish since the appointment of coach Brendon McCullum last year – would be decided by the coaches and player.

“I’m not sure we have feared teams in the past, clearly they are playing some really good cricket so we will deal with that as you do with any team when you get there, but I think our focus will be primarily on the way that we want to play,” he said.

The Australian selectors are leaving room to make changes to the squad if needed after the second Ashes Test with several Australian players playing county cricket.

“The UK is a very different assignment from our most recent tour of India and some of the changes are based upon the conditions we are anticipating,” he said.

Australia Nets and Press Conference – Friday December 24th – Melbourne Cricket Ground
Australia’s David Warner during a nets session at the Melbourne Cricket Ground, Melbourne. (Jason O’Brien, PA)

Full squad: Pat Cummins (c), Steve Smith (vc), Scott Boland, Alex Carey (wk), Cameron Green, Marcus Harris, Josh Hazlewood, Travis Head, Josh Inglis (wk), Usman Khawaja, Marnus Labuschagne, Nathan Lyon, Mitchell Marsh, Todd Murphy, Matthew Renshaw, Mitchell Starc, David Warner.