Veteran batsman Adam Voges and leggie Fawad Ahmed have both been included in the Australia’s squad for the upcoming West Indies tour and the Ashes, that starts on July 8th. Peter Nevill has been confirmed as the backup wicket-keeper to Brad Haddin, while there was no place for seamer James Pattinson, who suffered a hamstring injury during the Sheffield Shield final earlier this month. There was also no room for Glenn Maxwell, Aaron Finch and James Faulkner.
The selection of Fawad Ahmed didn’t come as a surprise as he topped the Shield tally this year with 48 wickets at an impressive average of 24.85. As for Voges, the big lad plundered 1358 runs at an awe-inspiring average of 104.46 in the Shield this summer to make himself almost impossible to ignore.
“He had a magnificent Shield season, absolutely no doubt about that,” National Selector Rod Marsh said of Voges. “I looked at him on four or five occasions, maybe more, this year. and I thought ‘I don’t know how anyone is going to get this bloke out’. He was that dominant, but it wasn’t only the fact he made 1300-odd runs, it was the way he made them. It was as good as any Sheffield Shield batting I’ve ever seen, and I’ve seen some good stuff.”
Shaun Marsh, who had a decent series against India this summer, was preferred to fellow Test incumbent Burns. Peter Siddle was also was named in the squad after being dropped from the Test side during the summer and he is expected to feature in the Tests in the Caribbean, with Ryan Harris staying home for the birth of his first child and joining the squad for the Ashes.
Australia play two Tests against West Indies starting from June 5th before going to England to defend the urn that they won in 2013-14 courtesy an outstanding show from Mitchell Johnson, who picked up 37 wickets in 5 matches.
Michael Clarke (capt), Steven Smith (vice-capt), Fawad Ahmed, Brad Haddin, Josh Hazlewood, Ryan Harris (Ashes only), Mitchell Johnson, Nathan Lyon, Mitchell Marsh, Shaun Marsh, Peter Nevill, Chris Rogers, Peter Siddle, Mitchell Starc, Adam Voges, David Warner, Shane Watson.
Probable Playing XI (for West Indies tour):
Chris Rogers, David Warner, Adam Voges, Michael Clarke, Steven Smith, Shane Watson, Brad Haddin, Mitchell Johnson, Mitchell Starc, Peter Siddle, Nathan Lyon
Probable Playing XI (for Ashes):
Chris Rogers, David Warner, Adam Voges, Michael Clarke, Steven Smith, Shane Watson, Brad Haddin, Mitchell Johnson, Mitchell Starc, Ryan Harris, Nathan Lyon