Cricket Australia has announced a 14-man squad for the 1st Test against Pakistan, set to begin on December 14th at the Optus Stadium in Perth. Uncapped speedster Lance Morris remains on track to make his Test debut, while the likes of Scott Boland, Nathan Lyon, and Cameron Green have also returned to the fold as Australia begin their summer.
Morris was with the Test squad throughout last summer, but failed to get a game and has a promising record in first-class cricket. The 25-year-old right-arm paceman has picked up 74 wickets in 22 fixtures at 25.44 alongside a couple of five-wicket hauls.
Alex Carey has retained his spot as the wicketkeeper despite losing his place to Josh Inglis in the 2023 World Cup after the opening match. With both Cameron Green and Mitchell Marsh included, it will be interesting to see who plays the opening fixture. Lyon, who has recovered from his calf injury and signed a contract with Lancashire for their county season, has replaced the youngster Todd Murphy.
Spotlight on David Warner ahead of his potential farewell Test series:
The spotlight is likely to fall on David Warner the most as the veteran opener is likely to retire from the format after the Sydney Test and will be keen to go out on a high.
With the practice match yet to be played, Chief Selector George Bailey expects more players to give competition for the spots. As quoted by cricket.com.au, he said:
"As ever, there will be opportunities in the short to medium term to break into this squad and we look forward to seeing the continued strong performances from players who have been performing domestically, many of whom will get a tremendous opportunity in the PM's XI fixture against Pakistan later this week."
Australia's squad for the 1st Test:
Pat Cummins (c), Scott Boland, Alex Carey, Cameron Green, Josh Hazlewood, Travis Head, Usman Khawaja, Marnus Labuschagne, Nathan Lyon, Mitch Marsh, Lance Morris, Steve Smith, Mitch Starc, David Warner.