Australia have dropped batsman Usman Khawaja for this week’s fourth Ashes Test at Old Trafford in Manchester.
Fast bowler James Pattinson has been rested, and all-rounder Mitchell Marsh overlooked despite an impressive display with bat and ball in a recent tour fixture against Derbyshire.
‘The tough thing for Mitch and a few of them, is you have to bang so hard to get into the side like Matthew Wade, Marcus Harris did for example,’ said head coach Justin Langer.
‘He’s craving some continuity of playing so he can get some performance on the board, I reckon. Obviously, he’s played about 30-odd Test matches, or about that, because we see the value of having a guy who can bat, hopefully score hundreds in the top six and bowl pretty well.
‘He’s swinging the ball at the moment. We saw that. His seam position with the ball is outstanding. He’s very, very fit at the moment, that’s a positive sign. He’s nice and fit, got beautiful seam position. It would have been nice from his point of view to turn his 74 into 120 not out. That’s about the banging so hard that you can’t ignore. That’s what we want to see from our players.’
The veteran Peter Siddle will likely be recalled to form a three-seamer attack alongside fellow right-armers Pat Cummins and Josh Hazlewood.
Batsman Steven Smith, too, will likely be back in the XI. Smith did not play the third Test at Headingley in Leeds. He was sidelined by a concussion, after being struck on the side of the head by a fierce bouncer from fast bowler Jofra Archer in the second Test at Lord’s in London.
The five-match series is currently locked at 1-1. Australia won the first Test at Edgbaston in Birmginham. The Lord’s match was drawn. England triumphed in the Leeds Test. The home side will again be without the injured James Anderson for the Manchester match.
Australia are the current Ashes title holders.
Squad: Tim Paine (c), Pat Cummins, Marcus Harris, Josh Hazlewood, Travis Head, Marnus Labuschagne, Nathan Lyon, Peter Siddle, Steven Smith, Mitchell Starc, Matthew Wade, David Warner.
Photo: Getty Images
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