Warner included in settled Australia squad for first Pakistan test

David Warner has been handed the chance of a hoped-for Sydney Cricket Ground farewell after being named in Australia’s squad for the first of three home tests against Pakistan.
| Photo Credit: AP

Australia opener David Warner looks likely to get the test farewell of his choice after being named in the 14-man squad for the opening clash in the three-match series against Pakistan on Sunday.

Warner said in June that he wanted to bring down the curtain on his 12-year career in the longest format after the third test against the tourists in his home city of Sydney early next year.

His lack of recent test runs, an average of less than 30 with just one century over the last two years, had threatened to stymie his plans but his contribution to Australia’s recent World Cup triumph looks to have secured his place in the squad.

The one minor surprise in a settled squad was the inclusion of Western Australian bowler Lance Morris, who would offer plenty of raw pace if he got the nod to make his test debut in familiar conditions at Perth Stadium from Dec. 14-18.

Off-spinner Nathan Lyon also returned to the squad in place of Todd Murphy after missing the back end of last year’s Ashes series with a calf injury.

Otherwise, Australia retained the players who last year won the World Test Championship for the first time and retained the Ashes in England.

Chief selector George Bailey said there were still opportunities for others to play themselves into contention for the tests against Pakistan in Melbourne and Sydney, as well as the two-match series against West Indies that follows.

“We look forward to seeing the continued strong performances from players who have been performing domestically, many of whom will get a tremendous opportunity in the Prime Minister’s XI fixture against Pakistan later this week,” he said in a statement. Pakistan, who have not won a test match in Australia for nearly three decades, are already in Canberra preparing for the start of the four-day tour match at Manuka Oval on Wednesday.

Australia squad

David Warner, Usman Khawaja, Marnus Labuschagne, Steve Smith, Travis Head, Mitchell Marsh, Alex Carey, Pat Cummins (captain), Mitchell Starc, Nathan Lyon, Josh Hazlewood, Scott Boland, Cameron Green, Lance Morris.

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