Australia announce squad for ICC WTC final against India

NEW DELHI: David Warner has been included in Australia’s 17-player touring party for the ICC World Test Championship final against India at The Oval and the opening two Ashes Tests.

Warner remains in the frame to be selected for the World Test Championship final that starts on June 7 after recovering from an elbow injury sustained during the Test series in India in February.
Pat Cummins will return to captain the squad after leaving the tour of India early and sitting out the third and fourth Tests to be with his sick mother in Australia.

The 17 players selected in the touring party will be available for selection in the WTC final against India and the opening two Ashes Tests at Edgbaston and Lord’s.

Selectors will evaluate the makeup of the squad after the second Ashes Test with the option to make changes for the remaining matches against England at Headingley, Old Trafford and The Oval. A 15-player squad for the ICC World Test Championship is final and will be named on May 28. Warner will have an opportunity to turn around a recent record that includes one century in 32 Test innings going back to the start of 2021, while the opener averaged 9.5 on the last Ashes tour in 2019.

Usman Khawaja is included in the squad and expected to take one of the opener positions, while Marcus Harris and Matt Renshaw are other options to partner the veteran at the top of the order. Harris has been recalled to the squad along with all-rounder Mitchell Marsh and wicketkeeper Josh Inglis, while Ashton Agar, Peter Handscomb, Mitchell Swepson and Matt Kuhnemann were not retained from the squad that toured India. Lance Morris has been ruled out with injury.

The World Test Championship final is the culmination of more than two years of consistent performance at the Test level by the team and the individuals involved, leading into an Ashes series which is always highly anticipated. “The UK is a very different assignment from our most recent tour of India and some of the changes are based upon the conditions we are anticipating,” Australia chair of selectors George Bailey said.

“Marcus, Josh and Mitch return to the squad and provide valuable depth and flexibility within their respective skill sets. We see value in revisiting the squad following the second Ashes Test given the short turnaround between the WTC final and the first Ashes Test, along with the length of the tour, ” added Bailey.

Australia plays India in the World Test Championship final at the Oval from June 7-11 before moving to the first Ashes Test against England at Edgbaston from June 16-20. Australia’s World Test Championship Final and Ashes squad: Pat Cummins (C), Scott Boland, Alex Carey, Cameron Green, Marcus Harris, Josh Hazlewood, Travis Head, Josh Inglis, Usman Khawaja, Marnus Labuschagne, Nathan Lyon, Mitchell Marsh, Todd Murphy, Matthew Renshaw, Steve Smith (VC), Mitchell Starc and David Warner. (ANI)


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