Australia v New Zealand Tests
Burns wins battle for opener's spot
Queenslander preferred over Marsh, Bancroft as Australia name squad for first two Tests
30 October 2015, 03:00 PM AEST
Australia’s national selection panel have recalled Queensland pair Joe Burns and Usman Khawaja for the first two Tests of the three match series against New Zealand, beginning next Thursday November 5 at the Gabba.
Burns, who played two Tests last summer against India, was chosen at the expense of Western Australian pair Shaun Marsh and Cameron Bancroft.
Quick Single: NZ tour match abandoned over pitch concerns
Bancroft made 42 as an opener for a Cricket Australia XI last weekend and impressed many with his temperament last season during a marathon double century against a strong New South Wales side in the Sheffield Shield, adding 150 to his claims for Australia A against India A on the winter tour to the subcontinent.
“We will need to play at our best to beat a very talented New Zealand side, but we think this squad has the goods to do it and also provides an opportunity for some exciting younger players to make their mark in the Test arena,” national selector Rod Marsh said.
“Usman is a very good player of fast-bowling and is a fine technician; we feel he will make a really solid contribution towards our batting this series.
“Joe thoroughly deserves his chance and was unlucky to miss out on the West Indies and Ashes tours off the back of two decent performances in his last Test match for Australia in Sydney.
“He also put in terrific performances during the recent Australia A Series in India.”
Quick Single: Finch, Carters enter record books
Khawaja has not played a Test since August 2013 while Burns’ last Test innings was in January when he made scores of 58 and 66 against India at the Sydney Cricket Ground.
West Australian Adam Voges rounds out the middle-order with his state teammate Mitchell Marsh at No.6.
“Adam is a calm player with a cool head and brings a lot of experience to the side,” Marsh said. “He has a solid Test and first-class average and will provide good support to our two young leaders in Steve Smith and David Warner.
“Mitchell provides good balance as the allrounder and we believe he has a great future as a player for Australia.”
Australia’s group of bowlers remains unchanged from the Ashes series in England earlier this year.
“We are pleased with how our bowling unit is going at the moment,” Marsh added. “Both Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazlewood had fantastic performances in the Matador Cup and Mitchell Johnson looks ready to fire after a decent break.
“Off the back of a great bowling performance in the last Test Peter Siddle earns his selection with Nathan Lyon, a proven performer in the side rounding out our attack.”
Australia XII to play New Zealand: Steve Smith (c), David Warner (vc), Joe Burns, Josh Hazlewood, Usman Khawaja, Mitchell Johnson, Nathan Lyon, Mitchell Marsh, Peter Nevill, Mitchell Starc, Peter Siddle, Adam Voges.