Australia have recalled pacer Michael Neser to the Test squad for the tour of New Zealand, keeping the Tasman conditions in mind. Neser, who was a part of the Australian squad for the World Test Championships final against India, have so far played two Tests for Australia.
Nesar has been one of the most consistent bowlers on the domestic circuit, but numbers have taken a plunge this year with nine wickets at 50.33, but the selectors understand the value he brings to the side in New Zealand. Especially because, Neser scored a 140 for Queensland in the opening round of this season's Shield competition, establishing him as a proper all-rounder.
"It's great to see Michael Neser get another opportunity in the squad following his ever-consistent performances over a long period of time and the conditions we expect," national selector George Bailey said.
Lance Morris was a part of the series against West Indies, but he suffered a side injury during last Tuesday's ODI match against West Indies in Canberra. However, Bailey clarified that Morris wouldn't have been a part of the New Zealand series, anyway.
"We'd be looking at a different type of fast bowler," Bailey said. "The luxury of this tour only being in New Zealand, it's not a massive trip, so a number of players in specific roles that if we do need to get them across that it's not too much of a challenge, so Lance would have been in that boat."
After the New Zealand tour, Australia are not slated to play any other Test series till India arrive on their shore in late 2024. But in a surprise move, Australia have kept the squad size to 14 with no back-ups for wicket-keeper Alex Carey and spinner Nathan Lyon.
"As we know, every Test match provides vital opportunities to obtain valuable WTC points and we expect this tour will be a tough challenge against a very strong side who have been so consistent at home for a long period of time," Bailey said.
The first of the two-match Test series begins on February 29 in Wellington and the second Test will be played in Christchurch from March 8.
Australia Test squad: Pat Cummins (c), Scott Boland, Alex Carey, Cameron Green, Josh Hazlewood, Travis Head, Usman Khawaja, Marnus Labuschagne, Nathan Lyon, Mitchell Marsh, Michael Neser, Matthew Renshaw, Steve Smith (vc), Mitchell Starc
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