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Huge names in Australia A squads

Usman Khawaja, Glenn Maxwell and Travis Head lead a host of big names included in the Australia A squads to tour South Africa

Usman Khawaja and Travis Head will lead Australia A’s four-day and one-day squads, respectively, on the tour of South Africa in July.

The four-day squad features five players with Test match experience – Khawaja, Glenn Maxwell (vc), Jackson Bird, Ashton Agar and Hilton Cartwright – in a powerful group of 14 players.

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"We have opted for a well-balanced squad featuring some experience blended with younger players, with an emphasis on building our depth for the future," said National Selector Trevor Hohns.

"This is a great chance for these players to experience foreign conditions against a quality international sides and really test their skills.

"With an upcoming Test Series in South Africa early next year it is also an opportunity to impress with their performances and put their names forward for consideration.”

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The opening four-day match in Pretoria will be Khawaja's first taste of competitive cricket since the fourth ODI against Pakistan in January having not played during Australia's Test squad in India or in the Indian Premier League with the Rising Pune Supergiant that immediately followed.

While Khawaja might be rusty, his deputy Maxwell will be anything but after playing in the final two Tests in India, every game of Kings XI Punjab's IPL campaign and possibly five games for Australia in the Champions Trophy.

“Khawaja is a proven leader and has captained Australia A before, he will gel nicely with Glenn who recently had some captaincy experience in the IPL and we believe will respond well to this extra responsibility," said Hohns. 

Head’s one-day unit has eight players with international caps but only two - Head and Marcus Stoinis - from Australia's Champions Trophy squad.

"Travis is a capable young leader and he will benefit from the opportunity at this level,” Hohns says.

"There were some senior players that missed out on an opportunity this time round but this will certainly not detract from their chances of representing Australia in the future."

Eight players are included in both squads with South Australia gloveman Alex Carey to keep wickets on tour.

Carey, 25, set a new Sheffield Shield record last summer with 59 dismissals, the most ever in a single season, eclipsing the mark of 58 set by Queenslanders ‘keeper Wade Seccombe in 2000-01 and Chris Hartley in 2011-12.

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Western Australia left-arm quick Jason Behrendorff is part of both squads after roaring back from injury in the second half of the Shield season. 

In his three Shield appearances in 2017, Behrendorff captured 23 wickets including a remarkable 9-37 and 5-52 in his return against Victoria at the WACA Ground. 

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Ashton Agar has been named in both squads and is one of five allrounders in the 50-over party.

Agar is joined by skipper Head, Cartwright, Stoinis and Jack Wildermuth.

Wildermuth, 23, was one of the three allrounders, along with Stoinis and Moises Henriques, considered as a replacement for the injured Mitchell Marsh on the Qantas Tour of India, before the Victorian was chosen based on his superior bowling ability.

Stoinis, who was on hand for the final two Tests in India, was not picked in the four-day squad, while red-ball vice-captain Glenn Maxwell missed out on the one-day selection.  

The full-strength squads were chosen in full confidence that the the MOU negotiations between Cricket Australia and Australia Cricketers’ Association will be finalised by June 30, according to CA Team Performance boss Pat Howard.

"Selectors have chosen this squad irrespective and independent of the status of the MOU," Howard said.

"We are confident that there will be a resolution in place by 30 June and look forward to continuing to support these players to perform at their very best on the global stage."

UPDATE: Moises Henriques will no longer be part of the one-day squad. Instead, the NSW captain will remain with English county club Surrey with a replacement yet to be named. 

Australia A four-day squad: Usman Khawaja (c), Glenn Maxwell (vc), Ashton Agar, Cameron Bancroft, Jason Behrendorff, Jackson Bird, Alex Carey, Hilton Cartwright, Travis Head, Kurtis Patterson, Chadd Sayers, Mitchell Swepson, Chris Tremain, Jack Wildermuth

Australia A one-day squad: Travis Head (c), Ashton Agar, Jason Behrendorff, Scott Boland, Alex Carey, Hilton Cartwright, Sam Heazlett, Daniel Hughes, Kane Richardson, Marcus Stoinis, Mitchell Swepson, Chris Tremain, Jack Wildermuth


Australia A tour of South Africa  


Four-day matches


12-15 July: Australia A v South Africa A, Tukkies


19-22 July: Australia A v South Africa A, Senwes Park 


One-day tri-series


26 July: Australia A v India A, Tukkies


30 July: Australia A v South Africa A, Groenkloof


1 August: Australia A v India A, Tukkies


5 August: Australia A v South Africa A, Tukkies


8 August: Tri Series Final, Tukkies


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