Pace quartet to duel for Australia A
Ben Hilfenhaus, James Pattinson, Mitchell Starc and Ben Cutting will duel for the Test spot likely to be left open by the injured Ryan Harris when Australia A face New Zealand in Brisbane from November 24.
The pace quartet was named in a 12-man Australia A squad, the first to be chosen by Cricket Australia's new selection panel of John Inverarity, Rod Marsh, Andy Bichel and the captain Michael Clarke.
The team will be led by Tasmania's highly-regarded captain George Bailey, while the batsmen selected include the national team's current "next reserve" David Warner, Ed Cowan, Nic Maddinson, and Tom Cooper, who has previously represented Holland but is enjoying a strong start to the season for South Australia.
The wicketkeeper Matthew Wade can place enormous pressure on the incumbent gloveman Brad Haddin with a strong showing against the tourists.
"The National Selection Panel has chosen an exciting group of players in this 12-man Australia A squad who we believe have considerable potential and are therefore having opportunity invested in them," Inverarity said.
"There is obviously a great deal of interest in each of these players in terms of higher honours but first we look forward to this Australia A team being well led by Tasmanian George Bailey and giving a strong overall performance against the New Zealanders next week.
"Ryan Harris' current hip injury means the fast bowlers selected in this squad will be carefully monitored with six Test matches in succession throughout the Australian summer."
Australia A squad: George Bailey (capt), David Warner, Michael Beer, Tom Cooper, Ed Cowan, Ben Cutting, Ben Hilfenhaus, Nic Maddinson, James Pattinson, Steve Smith, Mitchell Starc, Matthew Wade (wk).