MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA: Melbourne. Australia have recalled wicketkeeper Tim Paine for the first time in seven years and dropped opening batsman Matt Renshaw in a surprising Ashes squad for the series against England.
The 32-year-old Paine, who played the last of his four tests in October 2010, has been included in a 13-man squad for the first two Tests, replacing out-of-form Matthew Wade and denying Peter Nevill a spot.
“Tim was identified as an international player a long time ago and has always been renowned as a very good gloveman, also performing well for us whenever he has represented Australia in any format," said national selector Trevor Hohns in a statement. “His batting form in recent outings for the Cricket Australia XI and Tasmania has been good.”
Uncapped Western Australian Cameron Bancroft replaces Renshaw in Steve Smith's squad after scoring a mountain of runs in the domestic Sheffield Shield in the lead-up to the first test in Brisbane starting next Thursday.
Renshaw has had a poor Shield season for Queensland but the 21-year-old's omission is certain to be polarising given his solid performances in the last home summer.
“Cameron has been a player of interest to us for some time now, having been unlucky to miss out on the Test tour to Bangladesh that was cancelled in 2015," Hohns added. “He is a very talented and tough cricketer who shows a good temperament for Test cricket. He has thoroughly earned and deserves his call-up following some outstanding performances in the early rounds of the... Sheffield Shield competition this season."
Selectors also sprung a surprise by recalling batsman Shaun Marsh while leaving out incumbent number six Glenn Maxwell.
The injury-prone 34-year-old Marsh has been in decent form for Western Australia but averages a modest 36 in Tests and has never quite managed to cement his place in the side despite plenty of chances since his 2011 debut against Sri Lanka.
Jackson Bird and Chadd Sayers have been selected as the back-up bowlers to the formidable pace trio of Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood and Chadd Sayers.
The second match of the five-Test series starts in Adelaide on December 2.
Steve Smith (captain), David Warner, Cameron Bancroft, Jackson Bird, Pat Cummins, Peter Handscomb, Josh Hazlewood, Usman Khawaja, Nathan Lyon, Shaun Marsh, Tim Paine (wicketkeeper), Chadd Sayers, Mitchell Starc
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