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Cricket-Warner in Ashes squad but Australia keep top order options open

SYDNEY (Reuters) – David Warner was included in Australia’s squad for the World Test Championship (WTC) final and first two Ashes tests but selectors kept their options at the top of the batting order open by also calling up Marcus Harris and Matt Renshaw.

Warner has been under pressure after a poor run of form with the bat but returned after injury to the 17-man squad for the June 7 WTC final against India at The Oval and the tests against England that follow at Edgbaston and Lord’s.

Harris was recalled after missing the entire 2022-2023 test season after his place as Warner’s opening partner was taken by Usman Khawaja.

All-rounder Mitchell Marsh also returned to the test squad for the first time since the 2019 Ashes series in England as backup to Cameron Green, while uncapped English-born wicketkeeper Josh Inglis was also included.

Batsman Peter Handscomb, all-rounder Ashton Agar, and spinners Mitchell Swepson and Matt Kuhnemann were the players dropped from the squad that toured India in February and March.

“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,” head selector George Bailey said.

“Marcus, Josh and Mitch return to the squad and provide valuable depth and flexibility within their respective skillsets.”

Despite the different conditions expected in England, off spinner Todd Murphy retained his spot in the squad as backup to Nathan Lyon after excelling in his first four tests in India.

Bailey said the selectors would reassess the squad before the final three Ashes tests at Headingley, Old Trafford and The Oval in July.

That means 36-year-old Warner, whose tour of India was cut short by an elbow injury, probably needs to quickly work his way out of a form slump that has seen him post only one century in more than three years.

Squad: Pat Cummins (captain), Scott Boland, Alex Carey, Cameron Green, Marcus Harris, Josh Hazlewood, Travis Head, Josh Inglis, Usman Khawaja, Marnus Labuschagne, Nathan Lyon, Mitch Marsh, Todd Murphy, Matthew Renshaw, Steve Smith, Mitchell Starc, David Warner.

(Reporting by Nick Mulvenney, Editing by Himani Sarkar)

Disclaimer: This report is auto generated from the Reuters news service. ThePrint holds no responsibilty for its content.

Source: The Print

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