Australian Team Squad for New Zealand Tests

Australian Team Squad for New Zealand Tests: Big-hitting opener David Warner is set to make his Test debut after being named Saturday along with three new fast bowlers in an injury-ravaged Australian squad to take on New Zealand.

Warner, who is best known for his explosive batting in shorter forms of the game, replaces all-rounder Shane Watson, who along with Mitchell Johnson, Patrick Cummins, Ryan Harris and Shaun Marsh has been ruled out with injury.

The reshaped squad for next Thursday’s first of two Tests against New Zealand at Brisbane’s Gabba ground now includes pace trio James Pattinson, Ben Cutting and Mitchell Starc.

Cricket Australia general manager Pat Howard said the influx of four debutants would not cheapen Australia’s baggy green cap for next week’s Test match.

“It’s a fine balance. You don’t want to cheapen the baggy green but you have to make sure you are putting players on the field that are in absolute tip top condition,” Howard said.

New national selector John Inverarity said the absence of the injured players gave the newcomers a chance to join the squad and perform on the international stage.Australian Team Squad for New Zealand Tests

“Although injuries to those key players are not ideal, this provides an opening for these promising young players to come into the Australian squad and further their development,” he said.

It is likely that one of Cutting, 24, this season’s leading wicket-taker in the domestic Sheffield Shield, and 21-year-olds Pattinson and Starc will carry the drinks at the Gabba.

Spinner Michael Beer and swing bowler Trent Copeland, who were part of the South Africa Test squad, have missed selection for the team that takes on New Zealand in Brisbane starting Thursday.

Inverarity urged Australia’s emerging batsmen to press for Test selection throughout the coming season of Tests against New Zealand and India.

In the absence of Watson, wicketkeeper Brad Haddin has been appointed stand-in vice-captain.

Squad: Michael Clarke (captain), Phillip Hughes, David Warner, Usman Khawaja, Ricky Ponting, Michael Hussey, Brad Haddin (vice-captain), Peter Siddle, Mitchell Starc, Nathan Lyon, James Pattinson, Ben Cutting. (12th man to be named).

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