Melbourne, May 25: All-rounder Moises Henriques’s experience of playing in the Indian Premier League (IPL) has earned him a call-up to the Test side as Cricket Australia (CA) on Tuesday announced a 15-member squad for the three-match Test series in Sri Lanka in July.
CA national selector Rod Marsh said Henriques, who is playing for the Sunrisers Hyderabad in the ongoing IPL, will benefit from his experience of playing in sub-continent conditions.
“Henriques comes into the squad to give the flexibility of an additional all-rounder option, having already shown he plays and adapts well to spin-friendly conditions. He has been working hard with his fitness and we believe he is in prime condition to serve us well should he be selected to play,” Marsh said in a statement.
“This squad has proven experience in sub-continental conditions,” he added.
The 29-year-old Henriques, who played his only three Tests to date for Australia on the 2013 tour of India has been included in the squad alongside left-arm spinner Stephen O’Keefe and pace duo of Jackson Bird and Nathan Coulter-Nile.
“Jackson Bird and Nathan Coulter-Nile join the squad and will give us good control and pace. Jackson had an impressive Sheffield Shield season and showed skill with reverse swing in the last Test match in New Zealand earlier this year. He’s playing in England at the moment and we’re confident this will build his skills to assist the squad if he is selected in Sri Lanka,” Marsh said.
“Stephen O’Keefe will complement Nathan Lyon and plays an important role in the subcontinent if he’s selected in the final XI. We know his ability, he takes wickets continually in first class cricket and he impresses when we select him to play Test cricket,” he added.
Australia will embark on their first Test tour since ascending to the No.1 ranking earlier this year in the wake of the 2-0 series win over New Zealand in New Zealand.
CA physiotherapist David Beakley said seamers, James Pattinson, Peter Siddle and Chadd Sayers has announced their unavailabilty for the tour due to injuries.
“James experienced lower back pain during the second Test against New Zealand in Christchurch and was given some time to rest. Unfortunately his back pain continued during this time and after further investigation it confirmed that he has had a recurrence of a back stress fracture,” he said.
Squad: Steve Smith (captain), David Warner (vice-captain), Jackson Bird, Joe Burns, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Josh Hazlewood, Moises Henriques, Usman Khawaja, Nathan Lyon, Mitchell Marsh, Shaun Marsh, Peter Nevill, Stephen O’Keefe, Mitchell Starc, Adam Voges.
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