Melbourne [Australia], November 9 (ANI): Australia have announced spinners Ashton Agar and Todd Murphy in the Prime Minister’s XI squad for the four-day tour match against the West Indies, keeping its tour of India in mind for the following year.
The PM XI match is a four-day day-night first-class match that begins on November 23 and is being used as a warm-up for the two-game Test series on November 30 in Perth.
Josh Inglis will play his first match against international opposition since his golf-course accident ended his T20 World Cup campaign, with the wicketkeeper leading the Prime Minister’s XI against West Indies later this month.
A very strong squad led by Test wicketkeeper Josh Inglis and included Test squad member Marcus Harris and fringe Test seamer Michael Neser, who played in the Ashes last year.
Following his excellent start to the Sheffield Shield season, Peter Handscomb will get another opportunity to make his Test case, while Marcus Harris, Michael Neser, Ashton Agar, and Matthew Renshaw will also be vying for recalls.
Harris has been added to Australia’s 13-man Test team to face the Windies in Perth and Adelaide, while selection boss George Bailey has indicated that Handscomb is firmly on national selectors’ radar for next year’s India tour.
Chair of selectors George Bailey suggested on Wednesday, before of the Prime Minister’s XI squad announcement, that some alternative names could be considered for the India tour compared to the squad chosen for the home Tests against the West Indies and South Africa.
“I would envisage the tour to India may have some different names to it than what the tour does over the [Australian] summer, just because of the conditions. They are every chance to be very different. Because it’s an away tour you take a slightly bigger squad anyway. Plus it’s at the back of a [home] summer and there’s a reasonable amount of cricket that would have been played by then,” ESPNcricinfo quoted Bailey as saying.
“Pete remains absolutely on our radar. He was selected on Australia A tour to Sri Lanka in the winter, [but missed it due to] having a baby at the same time. He’s started the season fantastically and finished the last Shield year fantastically,” Bailey added.
The first PM’s XI match was played in 1951, also against the West Indies, and was arranged by Sir Robert Menzies because he was upset that no international fixtures had been scheduled for Canberra that summer.
Bob Hawke reintroduced the idea in 1984, and it has been a near-permanent fixture on the calendar ever since, though it has been on hiatus for the past two summers owing to the pandemic.
Prime Minister’s XI squad vs West Indies: Josh Inglis (capt), Sean Abbott, Ashton Agar, Peter Handscomb, Aaron Hardie, Marcus Harris, Henry Hunt, Todd Murphy, Michael Neser, Matt Renshaw and Mark Steketee. (ANI)
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