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Australia has revealed its 14-man squad for the upcoming Test series against Pakistan, slated to commence with the opening clash on Sunday. Notably, the squad includes veteran opener David Warner, who had earlier expressed his desire to bid farewell to Test cricket after the third Test against Pakistan in Sydney next year, marking the end of his illustrious 12-year career in the format.
Despite Warner’s recent struggles in Test cricket, with an average of less than 30 and only one century in the last two years, his instrumental role in Australia’s recent World Cup triumph appears to have solidified his spot in the squad. The prospect of a Test farewell on his home turf in Sydney adds a sentimental touch to the series, enhancing the significance of Warner’s potential participation.
A subtle surprise in the otherwise stable squad is the inclusion of Western Australian fast bowler Lance Morris. With the ability to deliver raw pace, Morris could make his Test debut in familiar conditions at Perth Stadium during the December 14-18 encounter. The return of off-spinner Nathan Lyon, replacing Todd Murphy, who missed the latter part of last year’s Ashes series due to a calf injury, adds further depth to Australia’s bowling options.
Australia’s squad, largely unchanged from the victorious World Test Championship campaign and Ashes retention in England earlier this year, reflects continuity and confidence in the current lineup. Chief selector George Bailey highlighted that opportunities still exist for players to stake their claim for the Tests against Pakistan in Melbourne and Sydney, as well as the subsequent two-match series against the West Indies.
As the squad prepares for the upcoming challenges, Bailey expressed anticipation for strong performances from players showcasing their talent domestically. The Prime Minister’s XI fixture against Pakistan, scheduled later this week, provides a platform for emerging talents to shine and make their case for future Test considerations.
Meanwhile, Pakistan, aiming to break a nearly three-decade-long drought without a Test win in Australia, has already begun preparations in Canberra for the four-day tour match at Manuka Oval starting Wednesday.