Peter back after nearly two years

Australia named five uncapped players in their squad to play Pakistan in a two-Test series in the United Arab Emirates and recalled veteran pacer Peter Siddle for the first time in two years while dropping middle-order batsman Peter Handscomb.

By Our Bureau & Agencies
  • Published 12.09.18
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Peter Siddle

Calcutta/Melbourne: Australia named five uncapped players in their squad to play Pakistan in a two-Test series in the United Arab Emirates and recalled veteran pacer Peter Siddle for the first time in two years while dropping middle-order batsman Peter Handscomb.

With injuries having ruled out the likes of Pat Cummins and Josh Hazlewood, and Steve Smith, David Warner and Cameron Bancroft out with suspensions, Aussie selectors have plugged the gaps with a mix of unproven talents, and players who have excelled a bit in ODIs and put in decent performances for the 'A' team.

ODI specialist Aaron Finch, 31, will have his chance for a Test debut next month in Dubai and Abu Dhabi, along with Queensland's South African-origin duo Michael Neser, a pace bowling all-rounder, and batsman Marnus Labuschagne.

Another Queensland cricketer in the form of rookie fast bowler Brendan Doggett joins the Mitchell Starc-led pace battery. Despite only eight first-class matches to his name, 24-year-old Doggett beat uncapped Western Australia quick Jhye Richardson for his place and could become the third indigenous player to represent Australia in the longest format following Faith Thomas and Jason Gillespie.

"Brendan is an exciting prospect, a fast bowler with raw pace and wicket-taking ability," selector Trevor Hohns was quoted as saying by a Cricket Australia release.

"He provides an additional option to Starc if extra pace is called for."

As for Siddle, he returns after nearly two years, with his last Test being a home fixture in Perth against South Africa in November 2016.

THE SQUAD: Aaron Finch, Matt Renshaw, Brendan Doggett, Michael Neser, Usman Khawaja, Shaun Marsh, Mitchell Marsh, Tim Paine (captain), Travis Head, Marnus Labuschagne, Nathan Lyon, Jon Holland, Ashton Agar, Mitchell Starc, Peter Siddle.