Khawaja, Richardson return for Ashes; Marsh not included for first two Tests

Sydney:- Usman Khawaja and Jhye Richardson both returned to the fold as Australia on Wednesday named a 15-member squad under skipper Tim Paine for the first two Tests of this summer’s Ashes, beginning at the Gabba on December 8.

Cricket Australia (CA) also announced an extended player list from which an Australia A team will be selected for a tour match against the English Lions.

In what will be Australia’s first Test series since last summer’s Border-Gavaskar campaign, which they dramatically lost to India 2-1, Mitchell Marsh, who guided Australia to its maiden ICC T20 World Cup title in the UAE defeating New Zealand, hasn’t found a place in the side for the first two Test matches, although he is in the list of ‘Additional Australia A players’.

Khawaja, last in the playing XI during Australia’s 2019 tour of England, looks likely to vie for selection in the middle-order against Travis Head, with incumbents Marnus Labuschagne, Steve Smith and Cameron Green all look likely starters.

CA’s chairman of selectors George Bailey indicated Marcus Harris would open the batting with David Warner, retaining his spot as the incumbent.

Australia squad: Tim Paine (c), Pat Cummins (v-c), Cameron Green, Marcus Harris, Josh Hazlewood, Travis Head, Usman Khawaja, Marnus Labuschagne, Nathan Lyon, Michael Neser, Jhye Richardson, Steve Smith, Mitchell Starc, Mitchell Swepson, David Warner.

Additional Australia A players: Sean Abbott, Ashton Agar, Scott Boland, Alex Carey, Henry Hunt, Josh Inglis, Nic Maddinson, Mitchell Marsh, Matt Renshaw, Mark Steketee, Bryce Street.