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November 26, 2011
Mitchell Starc, James Pattinson, Peter Siddle and Ben Cutting have been named as the Australian pace quartet for the first Test against New Zealand after the new selection panel took a balanced approach to the injury dramas surrounding the naming of the squad.
The selections, announced by the national selector John Inverarity, suggest a combination tailored to the Gabba, as Trent Copeland, a Test debutant in Sri Lanka and first reserve in South Africa, was overlooked.
"Unfortunately Mitchell Johnson, Shane Watson, Patrick Cummins, Ryan Harris and Shaun Marsh are unavailable for selection due to injury and Michael Beer and Trent Copeland are the players to have missed selection after being part of the Test squad in South Africa," Inverarity said.
"The absence of these players obviously provides a great chance for David Warner, James Pattinson, Ben Cutting and Mitchell Starc to come into the squad and perform on the international stage and I know that is an opportunity they are all looking forward to Although injuries to those key players are not ideal, this provides an opening for these promising young players to come into the Australian squad and further their development.
"David, James and Mitchell have been in and around the Australian limited overs squad at various times recently and showed that they have the talent and skills required to perform on the international stage This is obviously the first time Ben Cutting has been included in an Australia squad and he has impressed us with his performances in the Sheffield Shield this year and this is reflected in his success at the competition's leading wicket-taker.
"Trent has had a lack of opportunities to push for selection in recent times. He will be disappointed but will work hard with New South Wales and I have no doubt he will again be putting his hand up for inclusion with good performances for his state."
Starc, Cutting and Pattinson provide the youth and aggression in the attack, with Starc's imposing record at the Gabba and left-arm variety helping to earn him a berth. In first-class matches Starc has taken 12 wickets at 18.41 at the ground, while he also claimed 4-27 against Sri Lanka in his one ODI appearance in Brisbane last year.
Cutting has enjoyed a strong start to the summer for Queensland, impressing with his aggression, speed and also his lower order hitting.
Pattinson has been around Australia squads for some time, touring India last year and Sri Lanka in 2011. He was a narrow omission from the South Africa Test squad to make room for Pat Cummins, but is now in line for a debut at the Gabba.
As expected, David Warner was named to open the batting, while Ricky Ponting and Brad Haddin were retained following their contributions to the Australian victory over South Africa in Johannesburg. Haddin has been named vice-captain to Michael Clarke in the absence of Shane Watson.
Test squad: Michael Clarke (capt), David Warner, Phillip Hughes, Usman Khawaja, Ricky Ponting, Michael Hussey, Brad Haddin (vice-capt, wk), Peter Siddle, Ben Cutting, Nathan Lyon, Mitchell Starc, James Pattinson.
Daniel Brettig is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfoFeeds: Daniel Brettig
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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