Ashton Agar will have surgery on his injured right shoulder and is expected to miss three to four months, ruling him out of the Matador Cup one-day competition. Agar has been replaced by Victoria spinner Jon Holland in the Australia A squad for the initial first-class portion of the upcoming winter series, a pair of four-day games against South Africa A in Brisbane and Townsville.
"Ashton had an appointment with a shoulder surgeon earlier this week and a decision was made to have surgery on his right shoulder," Cricket Australia's sports science and sports medicine manager Alex Kountouris said. "We expect that he will not play cricket for the next three to four months, but the timeframes will become clearer as we monitor his recovery from the procedure."
Australia's selectors had initially named a 24-man Australia A squad for the entire winter campaign, which includes two first-class matches against South Africa A, a quadrangular one-day series, and then two first-class games against India A. From that group they would narrow down a smaller selection for each component of the series, and 13 men have been named for the South Africa A games.
Victoria batsman Peter Handscomb will captain the side, with Western Australia opener Cameron Bancroft as his deputy. Brad Haddin will join the squad as assistant coach to Troy Cooley as part of Cricket Australia's coach development programme.
"Peter Handscomb and Cameron Bancroft both have had impressive seasons and demonstrated strong leadership skills which confirms their appointments of captain and vice-captain respectively," national selector Rod Marsh said. "It is important that we continue to build our arsenal of quality fast-bowlers and this squad features some new faces such as Joe Mennie and Dan Worrall, both of whom have impressed at Shield level.
"Agar's injury comes at an unfortunate time, but we have selected Jon Holland as his replacement for these two four-day matches. Jon had an impressive Sheffield Shield season taking eight wickets during Victoria's win in the final and was Victoria's top wicket-taker at the Matador Cup, earning him the Dean Jones Medal at the end of the season.
"We are lucky enough to have some talented young up-and-coming batsmen performing well. This combined with the experience of Scott Boland and Marcus Stoinis at the national level bolsters the squad nicely."
Australia A first-class squad Peter Handscomb (capt), Cameron Bancroft (vice-capt), Scott Boland, Jon Holland, Jake Lehmann, Joe Mennie, Kurtis Patterson, Matt Renshaw, Marcus Stoinis, Mitch Swepson, Chris Tremain, Sam Whiteman, Dan Worrall.