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Australia begins life after Langer with Test squad named for first Pakistan tour since 1998

By Ben Somerford
Pat Cummins to lead Australia

Melbourne, February 8: Australia's first Test squad after Justin Langer's departure has been confirmed with 18 players selected for the team's first tour of Pakistan in nearly 25 years.

Spinner Ashton Agar is the only addition to the wider group that won the Ashes 4-0 over England, with fast bowler Jhye Richardson left out.

Agar comes into the squad to add another spin option for Australia alongside Nathan Lyon and Mitch Swepson given the likely favourable conditions on the subcontinent.

Opening batsman Marcus Harris has held his spot in the squad despite being dropped for the fifth Ashes Test, while Mitch Marsh and Josh Inglis are included as all-rounder and wicketkeeper cover after carrying the drinks in the Ashes.

“This squad covers for all scenarios including the conditions given it has been such a long time since Australia was last in Pakistan," National Selection Panel chair George Bailey said.

“With several subcontinent tours and a one-day World Cup in India on the near horizon this is a great first up challenge for the group after the successful home Ashes Series.

"It’s also a very historic tour given the length of time since an Australian side last toured Pakistan.”

Australia, who have not toured Pakistan since 1998 for security reasons, are also scheduled for an away series in Sri Lanka in June.

The three-Test match series against Pakistan begins in Rawalpindi on March 4, with further games in Karachi and Lahore.

The Pakistan tour will also include three One-Day Internationals and one T20 International, although that squad is yet to be announced.

Australia Test squad: Pat Cummins (captain), Steve Smith (vc), Ashton Agar, Scott Boland, Alex Carey, Cameron Green, Josh Hazlewood, Marcus Harris, Travis Head, Josh Inglis, Usman Khawaja, Marnus Labuschagne, Nathan Lyon, Mitch Marsh, Michael Neser, Mitchell Starc, Mitchell Swepson, David Warner.

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Story first published: Tuesday, February 8, 2022, 5:40 [IST]
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