Aaron Finch and Travis Head are two of the five uncapped players called up by Australia for next month’s two-Test series against Pakistan in the United Arab Emirates. With captain Steve Smith and openers David Warner and Cameron Bancroft still serving suspensions following the Newlands ball-tampering scandal earlier this year, Australia are facing something of a selection crisis at the top of the order. Tim Paine will continue to lead the side in Smith’s absence with his vice-captain for this series yet to be announced. Along with regular white-ball internationals Finch and Head, Queensland trio Brendan Doggett, Marnus Labuschagne and Michael Neser have all earned a place in the 15-man party and could make their Test debuts while there is no place in the squad for Glenn Maxwell, Joe Burns or Peter Handscomb. “There has been significant change to our Test squad due to the unavailability of a number of key players” said national selector Trevor Hohns.
“It’s a blend of experienced players who have a significant amount of either Test or first-class cricket and a number of younger players who we are confident are ready for the Test arena. “Aaron is in sensational form and this is the right time to give him a chance to play Test cricket. He has performed well in the Sheffield Shield in recent seasons and brings added experience and leadership to this group. “Travis has improved his game immensely over the past 12 months and is the type of player we want in this environment. He’s a hard worker who has performed well with the bat in his recent four-day opportunities for Australia A and South Australia.” The first Test is set to take place in Dubai from October 7 with the second match scheduled to begin on October 16 in Abu Dhabi.
Australia squad: Tim Paine (captain), Ashton Agar, Brendan Doggett, Aaron Finch, Travis Head, Jon Holland, Usman Khawaja, Marnus Labuschagne, Nathan Lyon, Mitchell Marsh, Shaun Marsh, Michael Neser, Matthew Renshaw, Peter Siddle, Mitchell Starc.