The Ashes 2013-14 October 28, 2013

Khawaja, Marsh, Doolan in Australia A squad


Usman Khawaja, Shaun Marsh and Alex Doolan will contend for Australia's Ashes No. 6 spot among the batsmen given an early sight of England through selection for Australia A in the tour match against the visitors at Bellerive Oval from November 6.

The trio are part of a team that mixes potential Test aspirants with cricketers further back in the queue, after the selectors weighed up the merit of their playing against the Englishmen or for their own states in the concurrent Sheffield Shield round.

Marsh and Khawaja will be particularly keen to show their worth following strong form in the domestic limited overs competition, while Doolan and Callum Ferguson are among others who have the opportunity to push themselves up a changeable batting order of preference by making runs against the tourists.

"We have struck a balance in what we think is the appropriate Australia A team to face England, while ensuring individuals have a solid preparation and chance to impress," the national selector John Inverarity said.

"There were clearly a number of players under consideration to play for Australia A in this match, however we have long been aware that 77 cricketers would be playing across these four days and due to various circumstances we have balanced our interests with what we feel is in the best interests for each player, their preparation and chance to push for higher honours.

"While these next couple of rounds of Shield cricket are important, the NSP is well advanced in its planning around the squad for the first Test.

"Players returning from one-day duties in India and not named for Australia A may play in the Sheffield Shield fixtures played concurrently with the Australia A fixture if it is considered that it is in their interests and the interest of their States' to be included."

Khawaja caught the selectors' eye on Sunday as much for a blinding catch at backward point to dismiss Steve Smith as his composed century in Queensland's successful chase. An improvement to Khawaja's fielding was among the areas Inverarity and his panel had been hoping to see the left-hander advance.

"It was a fantastic catch and Usman played very well," Inverarity said. "It's difficult to judge [from the domestic limited overs competition] but all I would say is a lot of runs were scored at North Sydney and a lot of players looked very good. It's a beautifully even-paced bounce, a lot of players playing there looked very good."

As was the case against South Africa a year ago, the team is stronger on batting than bowling, the Queenslander Ben Cutting and the Victoria left-arm spinner Jon Holland providing the greatest threat to England's batsmen in an attack that also features Trent Copeland and the captain Moises Henriques.

Cutting's allround potential has not been lost on Inverarity, who said that how far the fast man's batting advanced, and his place up the order with it, would be entirely up to him.

"He's got a very good bat swing and a very good technique, and he's a very good hitter of the ball. Where his batting goes in the future is verymuch up to him," Inverarity said. "He's a very clean striker, a beautiful bat swing. We've got a high level of interest with Ben at international level, particularly in the white-ball format."

Australia A squad Moises Henriques (capt), Glenn Maxwell, Trent Copeland, Ben Cutting, Alex Doolan, Callum Ferguson, Jon Holland, Usman Khawaja, Michael Klinger, Shaun Marsh, Tim Paine.

Daniel Brettig is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. He tweets here

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Dummy4 on November 2, 2013, 13:21 GMT

    I agree with Moises Henriques (capt), Ben Cutting, Alex Doolan, Callum Ferguson, , Usman Khawaja, Michael Klinger, Shaun Marsh, Tim Paine what about some of the other players pushing for spots eg Hughes, warner, Haddin or wade swap keepers just so they get a hit and maybe find that spark aswell as ahmeed , Lyon ect who need to get wickets

    But don't see why Glenn Maxwell, Jon Holland and Trent Copeland although his stats in englans look ok

  • Anupam on October 30, 2013, 16:36 GMT

    Hmm khawaja is selected for his fielding now he is called Jonty Bradman, Klinger, Doolan & Marsh is for domestic runs (Marsh & Klinger deserves), But my question is A man who is in India he is 31 yrs old captaining a team which was soo poor in Clarke's regime and now looks best under his captaincy and Fellas he also scores lots of runs that any other only can imagine in Aus. His domestic records pooooor but he is rocking in International Cric. Will he deserve selection ? His name is Mr. George Bailey unite a broke team. just boring the comments upon domestic cric.

  • Dummy4 on October 30, 2013, 13:14 GMT

    England pick and stick with Root. we seem to be going for the Old Bailey. tables have turned, in every way : (

  • Martin on October 30, 2013, 7:55 GMT

    @Chris_P (October 29, 2013, 14:50 GMT). I was thinking I was a cert for the Gabba but now I'm not so sure. I have to go back to the old country at some stage before Christmas to sort out my affairs (business affairs....). I have tickets for the MCG and SCG and I be damned if I'm going to miss those! Please publish.

  • Murray on October 30, 2013, 7:47 GMT

    Thanks Landl47 for the James Vince scoop ! Will have a weather eye on him :)

    ROFL @ Phil Roger - never really worked, but always a chance ;)

  • Ben on October 30, 2013, 4:53 GMT

    Baily will be #3 or 4. A lot of players fighting for #6.

    Copeland would be a good 4th bowler if you have Johnson.

  • Brenton on October 30, 2013, 3:36 GMT

    Number 6 should be a straight battle between Warner and Bailey. Whoever performs best in the red ball lead up games gets the nod. Hughes to open with Rogers.

  • Michael on October 30, 2013, 2:32 GMT

    Stronger in Batting than Bowling is right, when you go in with 3 specialist bowlers, an all-rounder and Glen Maxwell. Playing in Hobart I don't expect there to be much for the spinners, so Cutting, Copeland and Henriques will get good opportunities to face international opposition again. But of the batsmen, only Khawaja has any sort of chance of playing in the first Test, and recent comments from Inverarity suggests that George Bailey may already have been penciled in. Still, should be a good match, and I look forward to seeing that the batting cupboard isn't completely bare. A pity that neither Silk nor Burns are there, but no doubt they'll be on show for their states.

  • David on October 30, 2013, 1:36 GMT

    What ever happened to Hughes? Why do they keep sticking with Khawaja. He had a terrible Ashes tour. Why??? Seems like favouritism or something else to me. Hughes is completely off the radar. Just give him a chance. 5 matches in Australia. Not India or England. Australia,. Home series. Build his confidence. Solidify his position. He is a real talent.

  • John on October 30, 2013, 0:41 GMT

    @Mitty2: Maddinson- yes, he's a prospect. Silk and Patterson (I assume you mean Kurtis, not Bridget) have played 5 and 1 FC games respectively. They've done well in those games, but it's way too early to point to them as potential test players. Haven't heard much about Lynn; his record's not that impressive, but people here whose views I respect saying good things about him makes me think he's got a chance of being the real deal. Poor Joe Burns has had a wretched 2013, culminating in 3 ducks and a 1 in 4 innings and being dropped from his state side. Hopefully he'll come back, but as of now he's a long way from test consideration.

    I'll be interested to see how the England Performance Squad gets on. They're very young (the oldest turned 26 quite recently), but there are some good young players there. Look out for James Vince; he's 22 and just scored 1100 runs @60 in the county championship with 4 hundreds. He's an elegant player and looks a born #3 for England.