Paine named, Khawaja recalled as Australia confirm Ashes squad for opening Tests

By Sports Desk November 16, 2021

Australia have named a 15-man squad for the opening two Ashes Tests, with captain Tim Paine included despite an injury cloud and veteran Usman Khawaja recalled.

Paine is yet to return to competitive cricket after neck surgery in September but leads an Australia team looking to win the Ashes after retaining the urn with a 2-2 series draw in England in 2019.

Khawaja, who turns 35 next month, earns a recall after strong Sheffield Shield form with two centuries in four matches, having not played the longest format of cricket since the third Ashes Test in 2019.

Victorian left-hander Marcus Harris appears set to open the batting alongside David Warner, with Will Pucovski absent due to another concussion, while Travis Head and Khawaja will battle to take the number five role.

Head was dropped in Australia's last Test series against India in January.

The first Test takes place at the Gabba in Brisbane from December 8, followed by the day-night Test at Adelaide Oval from December 16.

National selection panel chair George Bailey said: "Marcus has been a consistent run scorer domestically and had a strong winter further developing his game with Leicestershire. He is a good player who will be looking to build a strong partnership with David Warner at the top of the order.

"Travis finished last summer strongly, second only to Cameron Green for runs scored, and has again started the season well. He drives the game forward and can put the opposition under pressure with his ability to score quickly.

"Similarly, Usman Khawaja has been in great touch. He brings a calm, consistent and experienced component to the batting line up and is a proven run scorer at Test level. He also has the ability to bat across a range of positions in the batting order."

Jhye Richardson and Michael Neser are included as fast bowling depth, although the latter recently sustained a minor hamstring strain playing for Queensland in the Sheffield Shield.

"Jhye is seeing the rewards of concentrating on his red ball cricket in the build up to this series. We know he has an exceptional skill set and are excited about what he brings to the team now his body is back on track," Bailey said.

 

Australia Test squad: Tim Paine (c), Pat Cummins (vc), Cameron Green, Josh Hazlewood, Marcus Harris, Travis Head, Usman Khawaja, Marnus Labuschagne, Nathan Lyon, Michael Neser, Jhye Richardson, Steve Smith, Mitchell Starc, Mitchell Swepson, David Warner

Related items

  • Fowler scores 58 goals as West Coast Fever defeat Melbourne Vixens 70-59 to win first league title in 25 years Fowler scores 58 goals as West Coast Fever defeat Melbourne Vixens 70-59 to win first league title in 25 years

    Jhaniele Fowler scored 58 goals on Sunday to lead the West Coast Fever to the 2022 Suncorp Super Netball title following a keenly contested 70-59 victory over the Melbourne Vixens at the RAC Arena.

    It was the Fever’s first league title in 25 years after losing in the finals in 2018 and 2020.

    Fowler, who was recently appointed captain of Jamaica’s Sunshine Girls, missed one shot and got support from finals MVP Sasha Glasgow, who shot a perfect four for four from the field but who also hit four of her nine super shots. She also had 26 goal assists.

    The Fever never trailed at the intervals having led 18-14 at the end of the first quarter and took a six-point lead (35-29) into half-time.

    By the end of the third quarter, the Fever extended the lead to nine points after winning the interval 19-16 before closing out the championship outscoring their opponents 16-14 in the final stanza.

    Mwai Kemwenda was outstanding for the Vixens scoring 28 of her 29 attempts while Keira Austin missed only two of her 19 shots during the contest.

    The victory, which gave Fowler her first hold on the Super League title, capped another outstanding season for the four-time Fever MVP. Heading into the final, Fowler led the league in scoring – 804 goals, goal attempts (833), offensive rebounds (46) and Nissan Net Points (1438).

  • 'We did the right things' - Simmons encouraged by early Windies performance in abandoned opening T20 'We did the right things' - Simmons encouraged by early Windies performance in abandoned opening T20

    West Indies coach Phil Simmons was satisfied the team was on the right path in the first T20 international against Bangladesh before the match was called off due to rain.

    Pace bowler Romario Sheperd had captured 3 for 21 and led the way for the West Indies who reduced Bangladesh to 105 for 8 from 13 overs after the match had been reduced to 14 for each team after early showers delayed the start of play.

    When play did begin, Munim Shahriar was dismissed in the first over, putting Bangladesh immediately on the back foot at 2 for 1.  From there the team lost wickets at regular intervals, with Shakib Al Hasan providing the most resistance with 29 from 15.

    Hayden Walsh Jr was the next most successful bowler for the West Indies after taking 2 for 24.

        “I think we are getting to where we want to be.  The aggression was there, the guys ran in and hit the wicket.  They made Bangladesh play,” Simmons said after the match was called off.

    “We took four wickets early on and I think we did the right things today.  In the field we took all the catches that came to us, so we did all the right things.”

    The teams are scheduled to play the second match of the series on Sunday at the Windsor Park Stadium in Dominica.

  • Dottin joins Lancashire Thunder ahead of Heyhoe Flint Trophy Dottin joins Lancashire Thunder ahead of Heyhoe Flint Trophy

    West Indies Women all-rounder Deandra Dottin has been signed by Lancashire Thunder ahead of the start of the team’s T20 competition for the Rachael Heyhoe Flint Trophy.

    Dottin recently missed out on taking part in the CG Insurance Regional Super50 championship, for Barbados, after taking time to recover from an injury.  The player, however, left for England earlier this week and is expected to be available for the team’s first match against Northern Diamonds on Sunday.

    The all-rounder will be available for the team’s first four matches in the Rachael Heyhoe Flint Trophy before joining up with Manchester Originals for The Hundred at the beginning of August.  For her part, the player is looking forward to joining the team for the inaugural competition.

    “I am really excited to be in Manchester and ready to play in the Rachael Heyhoe Flint Trophy for the first time with the Thunder,” Dottin said.

    “I already know a few members of the squad following my time in the KSL six years ago and it will be a good opportunity to reunite with them and have some more fun playing cricket here.

    “I am looking forward to playing at Emirates Old Trafford again, one of my favourite grounds in cricket.”

     

© 2022 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.