Australia news May 19, 2017

Khawaja, Head to captain Australia A in South Africa

ESPNcricinfo staff
43

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