Australia tour of Sri Lanka 2016 May 24, 2016

Henriques, fit-again Starc recalled for Sri Lanka tour

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Nannes: Not surprised with Henriques' selection

Moises Henriques was a hotel room key away from being among the players suspended for "Homework-gate" on the 2013 India tour, but may now play a key role in Australia's effort to build subcontinental momentum by beating Sri Lanka at home in July and August. Henriques and the fit-again fast bowler Mitchell Starc have been named in the 15-man Test squad for the Sri Lanka tour.

The recalls of Henriques alongside Starc were the key outcomes of the touring party announced for Sri Lanka on Tuesday, with the selectors unable to consider Peter Siddle or James Pattinson due to injury. This and the continued struggles of Glenn Maxwell to find a place of batting maturity opened the way for Henriques' recall, the first time he has been part of the Test squad since the South Africa tour in February and March 2014.

The only Tests of Henriques' stop-start career were in India the year before, where several staunch batting displays were offset by unpenetrative bowling and the wider issues then engulfing a divided and unsettled team.

After the former coach Mickey Arthur's ultimatum for individual player feedback following a heavy defeat in the first two Tests in Chennai and Hyderabad, Henriques was set to miss the deadline through forgetfulness. He was bailed out when a defective room key sent him down to reception, where a teammate reminded him of the task.

Even so, Henriques still has much to prove in the Test arena, and may now get the chance in a series that will emphasise the speed of Starc but also a balance between pace and spin.

"This squad has proven experience in subcontinental conditions," the national selector Rod Marsh said. "Henriques comes into the squad to give the flexibility of an additional allrounder option, having already shown he plays and adapts well to spin-friendly conditions. He has been working hard with his fitness and we believe he is in prime condition to serve us well should he be selected to play.

"Jackson Bird and Nathan Coulter-Nile join the squad and will give us good control and pace. Jackson had an impressive Sheffield Shield season and showed skill with reverse swing in the last Test match in New Zealand earlier this year. He's playing in England at the moment and we're confident this will build his skills to assist the squad if he is selected in Sri Lanka.

"Stephen O'Keefe will complement Nathan Lyon and plays an important role in the subcontinent if he's selected in the final XI. We know his ability, he takes wickets continually in first class cricket and he impresses when we select him to play Test cricket."

The first Test in the three-match series begins in Pallekele on July 26.

Daniel Brettig is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. @danbrettig

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