Australia have announced their 17-man squad for the upcoming Ashes series.
The series is set to start on August 1 when England face off against the Aussies at Edgbaston.
One of the notable absentees in the Australia squad is wicket-keeper batsman Alex Carey.
The 27-year-old had an impressive World Cup, scoring 375 runs and averaging over 60, in Australia’s run to the semi-finals.
However, Matthew Wade, who was one of only two batsman to score over 1,000 runs in the Sheffield Shield last season, was favoured as the backup wicket-keeping option in the squad.
Jon Holland is another casualty of Australia’s preliminary squad being pruned to a final squad of 17.
Many had expected Holland to feature in the squad as a back-up spinner to Nathan Lyon however those responsibilities have been handed to Marnus Labuschagne.
Labuschagne, 25, has been playing for Glamorgan in the County Championship this summer and his impressive form, 1,114 runs in 10 matches, has helped him win a spot in the Ashes squad.
The right-handed batsman would also help to break up the dominance of left-handed batsman amongst the Australian batting line-up.
It’s a factor that is likely to please Ricky Ponting following his suggestion that right-handers would be an effective way of limiting the threat provided by England spinner Moeen Ali.
Speaking about whether having right-handers to break up a top-order dominated by left-handers helped, national selector Trevon Hohns said: “It certainly does and its nice to have a sprinkling of right-handers there.”
However, Hohns added: “The right-handers that are there are not there just because their right-handers, there the ones we want there,” Hohns said.
Meanwhile, Michael Neser is one of the big winners as he was selected in the 17-man squad. Neser, 29, is yet to represent Australia in Test Cricket however the seam-bowling all-rounder picked up 33 wickets in the Sheffield Shield last season.
Fast bowlers Mitchell Starc, Pat Cummins, Josh Hazlewood, James Pattinson and Peter Siddle are all included in the Australian squad.
However, Hohns expressed sympathy for those missing out on selection following the announcement.
“It has been a difficult task to reduce the 25-player squad here in Southampton down to 17 and those who have not made the final Ashes party are all desperately unlucky,” Hohns said.
“However, that problem also highlights that we have a degree of depth to select from and that is a terrific positive.
“We have had excellent preparations for this series, with eight players from this squad forming part of the Australia A tour that has been in the UK for more than a month, six who took part in the ICC Cricket World Cup, and three who have been playing county cricket. It means the players are acclimatised and ready for the first Test.”
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