West Australian quick Lance Morris is one step closer towards a long-awaited international debut, named in Australia’s 14-player squad for the first Test against Pakistan in Perth.
On Sunday morning, Cricket Australia unveiled its squad for the upcoming Test series opener at Perth Stadium, with Morris earning a recall.
The 25-year-old was on the verge of earning a baggy green last summer, called up an injury replacement ahead of the second Test against the West Indies against Adelaide. He remained with the Australian squad during the home Test series against South Africa and Border-Gavaskar Trophy in India, but didn’t crack into the starting XI.
Morris received a national contract and signed a maiden County Championship deal before scans revealed a stress spot in his back, ruling him out of the Ashes campaign in England.
Victorian seamer Scott Boland has also been named in the Test squad, along with veteran spinner Nathan Lyon, who missed the second half of the Ashes series with a calf injury.
Western Australia’s Cameron Green has been included in the squad, but fellow all-rounder Mitchell Marsh is expected to retain his spot at No. 6 in starting XI. Meanwhile, veteran opener David Warner and wicketkeeper Alex Carey have retained their spots despite patchy form in the five-day format.
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“This group, led by Pat Cummins, has built a strong resume over an extended period. We believe they have earned the opportunity to start in our first home Test match at the beginning of the new World Test Championship cycle,” chief selector George Bailey said in a statement.
“Thirteen members of the squad were part of the victorious World Test Championship and successful Ashes tours over the winter and Lance Morris has been recalled after recovering from his back injury over the same period.
“As ever, there will be opportunities in the short to medium term to break into this squad and 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 PM’s XI fixture against Pakistan later this week.”
The Test opener between Australia and Pakistan gets underway at Perth Stadium on December 14, with the first ball scheduled for 1.20pm AEDT.
Australian squad for first Test vs Pakistan
Pat Cummins (c)