Australia news May 19, 2017

Khawaja, Head to captain Australia A in South Africa

ESPNcricinfo staff
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Usman Khawaja will captain Australia A in South Africa © Cricket Australia/Getty Images

Usman Khawaja will captain Australia A's four-day team and Travis Head will lead the one-day side for a series of matches in South Africa in July and August. Glenn Maxwell, who scored his maiden Test century on the recent tour of India, will be vice-captain to Khawaja in the first-class games and will have the chance to push his case for retention in the Test side when Australia next play.

Moises Henriques was initially named in the one-day squad but the selectors later stated that the allrounder will continue his county stint with Surrey, instead of playing the tri-series.* CA said the selection panel had "considered both Henriques' experience along with future Australian tours in making this decision", and that a replacement player will be named in due course.

South Australia wicketkeeper Alex Carey has been chosen in both squads after a remarkable summer in which he broke the record for most dismissals in a Shield season, while also scoring nearly 600 Shield runs. Queensland allrounder Jack Wildermuth has als been named in both squads, his first call-up for Australia A, while New South Wales batsman Daniel Hughes has the chance to debut for Australia A in the one-day format.

The selectors decided against choosing the experienced batsmen Ed Cowan and George Bailey, who were two of the top three Shield run scorers last summer, as well as Cameron White, who topped the Ryobi Cup run tally. However, national selector Trevor Hohns said that while some senior players had missed out, it would "certainly not detract from their chances of representing Australia in the future".

Also absent from the squads were the opener Marcus Harris, who had a prolific Shield season for Victoria and finished fourth on the run tally with 808 runs, and the spinner Jon Holland, whose 50 Shield wickets placed him second only to swing bowler Chadd Sayers on the competition list. Ashton Agar and Mitch Swepson, both of whom toured India with the Test squad this year, were preferred as spin options in both formats.

"We have opted for a well-balanced squad featuring some experience blended with younger players, with an emphasis on building our depth for the future," Hohns said. "This is a great chance for these players to experience foreign conditions against a quality international sides and really test their skills.

"With an upcoming Test Series in South Africa early next year it is also an opportunity to impress with their performances and put their names forward for consideration. Khawaja is a proven leader and has captained Australia A before, he will gel nicely with Glenn who recently had some captaincy experience in the IPL and we believe will respond well to this extra responsibility."

Australia A will play two four-day games against South Africa A from July 12 to 22, and then a one-day tri-series involving South Africa A and India A from July 26 to August 8.

Four-day squad Usman Khawaja (capt), Glenn Maxwell (vice-capt), Ashton Agar, Cameron Bancroft, Jason Behrendorff, Jackson Bird, Alex Carey (wk), Hilton Cartwright, Travis Head, Kurtis Patterson, Chadd Sayers, Mitch Swepson, Chris Tremain, Jack Wildermuth.

One-day squad Travis Head (capt), Ashton Agar, Jason Behrendorff, Scott Boland, Alex Carey (wk), Hilton Cartwright, Sam Heazlett, Daniel Hughes, Kane Richardson, Marcus Stoinis, Mitch Swepson, Chris Tremain, Jack Wildermuth.

*Friday, May 19 0759 GMT. This copy was updated to reflect a change to Australia A's one-day squad

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • baggygreenmania on May 25, 2017, 23:46 GMT

    Yes I am baffled why Handscomb did not make the Aussie ODI squad for CT. He has just peeled off a quickfire 4 day century for Yorkshire and has a couple of ODD half tons for his county too.

  • cricketsubh on May 25, 2017, 3:58 GMT

    Both Khawaja and peter handscomb deserve to be in the odi squad 2 thing Australia don't need a genuine all rounder they need regular batsman at no6 so best 11 for test warner.renshaw.smith.Khawaja.handscomb.cartwright/aston turner.wade.Cummins.stark.hezalwood.Lyon.

  • BRADMANBESTEVER on May 23, 2017, 13:26 GMT

    It was an outrage that Khawaja was replaced by the sub-standard S Marsh in the last series. As predicted, S Marsh was a flop.

    Here is hoping that such an obvious mistake is not made at our selection table again.

  • BRADMANBESTEVER on May 23, 2017, 13:24 GMT

    I have had my eye on the boy Wildermuth for some time...and I mean that very nicely...and his batting needs to go up a notch to be a contender for the number 6 possie in our real cricket team. Cartwright should be our number 6 at the mo. Hopefully he can take his bowling up to Greg Blewett standard and then he would probably have a decent career at number 6. Got my fingers and toes crossed that we seen the last of the Marsh brothers in our real team. They were never up to standard despite the spin we heard over and over again about them

  • Paul_Rampley on May 21, 2017, 13:47 GMT

    Good comment hyclass, he is a lock in for the Gabba test but the way we have managed him for the ODIs and test would lead people to getting fired, leaving him out of the last dead rubber in Adelaide One dayer against pakistan, then resting him for the NZ series so he can be ready for India and not playing him against India only to leave him out of the champions trophy, thats pathetic management of one of our best players

  • hycIass on May 21, 2017, 7:11 GMT

    PaulRampley is spot on,khawaja is a world class batsman, he averages nearly 50 in test cricket, what more is there to say. Khawaja averages 64 since his comeback in 2015 in 13 tests and this rumour that he can't play spin or in subcontinent is based on a sample size of 2 games played in sri Lanka nearly a year ago, after which we see him defending a very good spinner keshav maharaj and Yasir shah all day long with a very good and improved technique. His replacement Shaun marsh got 66 in one of the innings so far while getting six or seven let offs, do Australia expect him getting so many lives in every test??? Although the main debate should be whether you drop your inform number 3 investment even before a new series starts. I am sure they will play him in the ashes but by then it might be too late. No one has had the mistreatment khawaja has, he should be also there in the champions trophy squad but we found a convenient excuse to keep him out of there too.

  • Baiy on May 21, 2017, 1:15 GMT

    Paul Rampley - it may not just be Ussie. It may that CA views the No 3 spot as special. If he was opener or 5 perhaps different. Could it be to get in you need skill and X factor (showmanship e.g. Maxwell). If so players need to be groomed in that. But the Australia spirit is the fair go and best man. Also why Burns, Madddinson, Ferguson, Tait also judged wrong by selectors (some now having health and career issues)? And what they see in Marsh brothers is a mystery. no doubt talented, but injuries and inconstancy must surely raise alarm bells (i.e never finishing a series and series lost). But at the moment it is an echo chamber with disconnect from fans and CA decisions. This is not Ritchie's view of cricket, so at the moment, is it fair to say "it just ain't cricket".

  • Baiy on May 20, 2017, 23:07 GMT

    PAUL_RAMPLEY - whats the point saying he's all class and other good things. Its an echo chamber. Im sure the same for some other players. The CA's Australian X1 have not exactly covered themselves in glory the last few series. Now controversy over salary. It always seems the same, player controversy and management the same. So something has to change either new players (i.e start again) or new management. Of course in these discussions, we don't need to keep repeating that Smith, Starc, and some others have proven their record is beyond these discussions. So we are debating moving forward in other areas.

  • Paul_Rampley on May 20, 2017, 13:22 GMT

    Khawaja is all class and if anyone saw him in the series aganist Pakistan this summer you would have seen how he clubbed Yasir Shah all over in the test series. He plays spin really well and this is just a excuse used against him. Also Not sure how Finch gets the nod ahead of him in the Champions Trophy squad. How handy would he be at the top of the order just hitting gaps in the power play!?Can't wait for the first game where Finch scratches around for 20 balls, hacks a couple of boundaries to mid-wicket and then spoons a drive straight to mid-off!

  • cricfan63239255 on May 20, 2017, 12:53 GMT

    Absolutely right @ IZZIDOLE, he is just an unlucky fella. He deserves more opportunities . Althought that article is just a writer's opinion, i think its a high chance his career may be over. But I really wish he goes back to state cricket and gives powerful performances for Tasmania for both formats and come back to aussie side more better.

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