20 year old newcomer in Australia squad for Sri Lanka tests

20 year old newcomer in Australia squad for Sri Lanka tests
Australia's Aaron Finch, left, and Shaun Marsh chat before a training session in Sydney, Wednesday, Jan. 2, 2019, ahead of their cricket test match against India starting Jan. 3. (AP Photo/Rick Rycroft)

SYDNEY, Australia Shaun Marsh, Mitch Marsh, Peter Handscomb and Aaron Finch have all been axed from the Australia squad for a two-test series against Sri Lanka after struggling in the four-test series against India.

Twenty-year-old Will Pucovski was included Wednesday in the 13-man squad after just eight first-class games, while openers Joe Burns and Matthew Renshaw have also been called up.

Pucovski scored 243 runs at the start of the Sheffield Shield season but took a break from cricket because of a mental health issue.

Mitch Marsh, appointed joint vice-captain last year, will have a chance to fight his way back into Ashes contention but it shapes as the end of 35-year-old Shaun Marsh’s stop-start test career that began in 2011.

“Ultimately Aaron, Peter, Shaun and Mitch have not produced the performances expected of them with the bat at test level,” chairman of selectors Trevor Hohns sad. “They have been given good opportunity, but have not produced the scores we need.”

“All four are very good players, and the door is by no means closed for them to return to play test cricket. They will all feature in the ODI series against India, and each of them forms an integral part of our white-ball strategy.”

The first test against Sri Lanka, a day-night match at the Gabba in Brisbane, starts on Jan. 24. The second test begins at Canberra’s Manuka Oval on Feb. 1.

Sri Lanka will also play a day-night pink ball tour match in Hobart beginning Jan. 17 against a Cricket Australia XI.


Australia squad: Marcus Harris, Joe Burns, Matthew Renshaw, Usman Khawaja, Travis Head, Will Pucovksi, Marnus Labuschagne, Tim Paine (captain), Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc, Nathan Lyon, Josh Hazlewood, Peter Siddle.