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Update Australia name Will Pucovski, Cameron Green for India Tests

[Image: pucovski-will-be-eyeing-joe-bu.jpg]

Australia have named youngsters Will Pucovski and Cameron Green in a 17-member Test squad for their upcoming series against India starting December 17. Sean Abbott, Mitchell Swepson and Michael Neser are other players named in the squad who could be in line for a Test debut. Pat Cummins will be the sole deputy to Tim Paine.

Australia squad: Sean Abbott, Joe Burns, Pat Cummins, Cameron Green, Josh Hazlewood, Travis Head, Marnus Labuschagne, Nathan Lyon, Michael Neser, Tim Paine ©, James Pattinson, Will Pucovski, Steve Smith, Mitchell Starc, Mitchell Swepson, Matthew Wade, David Warner

"What we saw in the opening rounds of the Marsh Sheffield Shield were a number of players performing exceptionally well," National selector Trevor Hohns said Thursday. "Two of those many standout players were of course Cameron Green and Will Pucovski. Their undeniable form demanded selection and we are very pleased to have these young men in the squad for what will be a tremendous Test Series against an extremely formidable opponent.

"As was the case with the white ball side we have reverted to a traditional leadership model of captain and vice-captain now we have a settled and in-form group of experienced players," Hohns further said. "Travis (Head) remains an important member of the senior leadership group and has been integral in the recent success of the side which is now ranked as the best Test team in the world. He has been a great support to Tim and is a very experienced leader."

Pucovski, 22, has made 495 runs at an average of 247.5 in the opening rounds of the Sheffield Shield competition this year, pushing his case for a Test berth. He will be vying for the opener's spot beside David Warner and will be in direct contention with Joe Burns, who's recorded scores of 7, 29, 0, 10, 11 so far in the Shield games so far this year.

Both Burns and Pucovski have been named in the Australia A squad for the two practice matches against India, which could determine Warner's opening partner.

"Will's record breaking start to the summer has been exceptional. His ability to show such patience is something which stands him in good stead for Test cricket and he is in rare company with two double centuries to start the summer. We very much look forward to Will developing further on the international stage," Hohns said.

Green, an allrounder from Western Australia, has created more ripples with the bat this summer, scoring a career-best 197 against New South Wales. He's only just making a comeback on the bowling after a serious back injury but has recovered enough to stake a claim to the allrounder's spot. Last month, he was named in the white-ball squad against India.

"Cameron (Green) has already won selection in the white ball squad and continues that in joining the Test squad. He is a wonderful young talent who has great potential to become an all-rounder of substance over time. His batting alone has demanded his place in the squad," Hohns said.

Hohns also spoke about Mitch Swepson, the leading wicket-taker in the Shield this season with 23 wickets in 3 games, and how he'll be a strong "second spin option" to Nathan Lyon should Australia play two spinners against India.

The selectors also also named Abbott and Neser in the pace pack with regulars Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood, Pat Cummins and James Pattinson. Both Neser and Abbott scored their maiden first-class hundreds this season.

"Sean Abbott has also been outstanding at the start of the summer and comes in to his first Test squad as a very strong fast bowling option. Add that to his recent batting form over the last 12 months he presents a very complete package in the squad."

The 19-player A squad features as many as nine Test players from the main squad including captain Tim Paine.

Australia A squad: Sean Abbott, Ashton Agar, Joe Burns, Jackson Bird, Alex Carey (wk), Harry Conway, Cameron Green, Marcus Harris, Travis Head, Moises Henriques, Nic Maddinson, Mitchell Marsh (subject to fitness), Michael Neser, Tim Paine, James Pattinson, Will Pucovski, Mark Steketee, Will Sutherland, Mitchell Swepson


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