Cricket Australia (CA) have announced squad for the World Test Championship (WTC) final against India and the Ashes which sees the return of Mitchell Marsh, Marcus Harris and a call-up for Josh Inglis. Marsh, who last played a Test in 2019, earns a call-up after a string of impressive performances in white-ball cricket. He played his first first-class game since 2021 in the Shield earlier this year- against Tasmania - scoring an unbeaten 108 to help Western Australia to a victory.
However, there was no place for Cameron Bancroft, who finished as the leading run-getter in the Sheffield Shield with 945 runs at 59.06. For that matter, fast bowler Michael Neser too misses out despite finishing the season with 40 wickets at 16.67.
Harris, on the other hand, managed 601 runs at 37.56, that included two centuries and three fifties that was deemed good enough to be a back-up opener, along with Matt Renshaw, who recently scored a couple of tons against New Zealand A to get back into contention after a disappointing India tour. Inglis will be Alex Carey's back-up behind the wickets. He finished with 22 dismissals in the Shield and scored 199 runs at 33.16.
Neser will however be in England as he is due to turn up for Glamorgan in the County Championship. Fast bowler Lance Morris, who was part of the squad that toured India for the Test series recently does not get a look in due to a back injury and as a result, he requires a six-week rest. He was due to have a short spell at Northamptonshire next month.
That would mean Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood and Scott Boland, will be Australia's front-line pace option for the tour with Cameron Green providing a supporting role with Marsh being his back-up.
After a successful tour of India, off-spinner Todd Murphy retains his place in the squad and will be second in line after Nathan Lyon. Among the other players who toured India Ashton Agar, Peter Handscomb, Mitchell Swepson and Matt Kuhnemann too do not make the cut.
"The World Test Championship is the culmination of more than two years of consistent performance at Test level by the team and the individuals involved, leading into an Ashes series which is always highly anticipated," Australia selector George Bailey said.
"The UK is a very different assignment from our most recent tour of India and some of the changes are based upon the conditions we are anticipating.
"Marcus, Josh and Mitch return to the squad and will provide valuable depth and flexibility within their respective skillsets. We see value in revisiting the squad following the second Ashes Test given the short turnaround between the WTC Final and the first Ashes Test, along with the length of the tour."
The 17-member squad will have to be trimmed to 15 for the WTC final before May 28 as per the ICC rules.
Australia will take on India in the WTC final, a one-off Test, from June 7 onwards. The Ashes will however get underway with the first Test at Edgbaston, starting June 16.
Australia squad for WTC final and Ashes (1st & 2nd Test): Pat Cummins (c), Scott Boland, Alex Carey, Cameron Green, Marcus Harris, Josh Hazlewood, Travis Head, Josh Inglis, Usman Khawaja, Marnus Labuschagne, Nathan Lyon, Mitchell Marsh, Todd Murphy, Matthew Renshaw, Steve Smith (vc), Mitchell Starc, David Warner.