Australia Cricket Team
Australia Cricket Team Credits: Twitter

Australia, on Wednesday (January 10), announced their Test squad for the first match of the forthcoming two-match series against the West Indies.

All eyes were on the selectors as everyone awaited their confirmation of David Warner’s replacement in the Test side following his retirement. The veteran opener brought down curtains on his illustrious Test career after the Sydney Test against Pakistan last week.

Although Matt Renshaw has replaced Warner in the Test squad, Steve Smith has been confirmed as his replacement in the playing eleven. Australia’s chief selector George Bailey confirmed that Smith will be opening the innings in the upcoming series against West Indies. Smith has never opened the innings in his 14-year Test career so far.

Australia squad for West Indies Test:

Apart from Renshaw, Australia have also recalled Scott Boland in their Test team for the upcoming match. The fast-bowler was recently released ahead of the Sydney Test against Pakistan in order to feature in the ongoing Big Bash League. He has not played a Test since the Leeds Test against England in July last year.

With Smith confirmed as Usman Khawaja’s opening partner, Cameron Green has returned to the playing eleven. The allrounder had lost his place in the playing eleven to Mitchell Marsh during last year’s Ashes. Green is now set to bat at number four, a position where he has done well with the bat in domestic circuit. The right-handed batter has an average of 65.1 in 24 Marsh Sheffield Shield innings for Western Australia while batting at No.4.

“Steve’s obviously motivated and energized and keen to do it,” Bailey said. “There were plenty within the team who were pretty keen to go on record and say that they weren’t keen to do it. So it was refreshing that Steve had come forward and said he wanted it and it was something that we’d been chatting about in the background as a selection panel with the coaches as well.

“It’s selfless that someone who’s had such success in one position or a couple of positions in the middle order that he’s open and willing and hungry to go and have a crack at something new and something different, which provides that opportunity to slot Cam into a position where he’s had so much success at first-class level and we think ultimately, is a great spot for him to be in the Test team,” he added.

The two-match AUS vs WI series is scheduled to get underway on January 17 in Adelaide. The second Test will be played from January 25 at the Gabba, Brisbane. After the Tests, both the teams will lock horns against each other in three ODIs and three T20Is.

Australia squad for first Test:

Pat Cummins (c), Scott Boland, Alex Carey, Cameron Green, Josh Hazlewood, Travis Head, Usman Khawaja, Marnus Labuschagne, Nathan Lyon, Mitchell Marsh, Matthew Renshaw, Steve Smith, Mitchell Starc.