Marcus Harris, who will start the upcoming two-Test series against the West Indies at home, has been selected to return to the Australia side.
Two victories over the Caribbean team will move Australia closer to securing a spot in the ICC World Test Championship final, which will take place next year. The Test series is essential for Australia in its quest for that spot.
On the ICC World Test Championship standings, Australia is now in second place, and the West Indies series is the first of three that will ultimately decide their fate.
Harris hasn’t appeared in a Test match for Australia since he took part in the match against England at the SCG at the beginning of the year, but the 30-year-old is set to partner fellow lefty David Warner at the top of the order after he was unable to travel with the team to Pakistan and Sri Lanka in the middle of the year.
Harris’ participation was justified, according to selection chair George Bailey, in the 13-player Australian team that was announced on Tuesday. This team defeated England to win the Ashes at the beginning of the year.
After using some larger teams for the sub-continent tours over the winter, Bailey noted, “we have gone back to a very similar squad to that which played strongly last summer in completely winning the Ashes.”
Marcus Harris keeps his spot after continuing to play well for Gloucestershire in the English County Championship and having a good start to the Sheffield Shield season.
A 14-person team has also been picked by the selectors for a three-game ODI series against England later this month. This will be the first series since Pat Cummins took over as captain from Aaron Finch.
The roster contains no significant shocks, and according to Bailey, the games will serve as an essential part of the preparation for the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup in India in 2019.
Pat will serve as the next ODI captain, thus this series is crucial, according to Bailey, who added that the team’s main goal is to continue to assemble in preparation for the World Cup in 2018.
“Travis Head, who performed admirably earlier this year in Sri Lanka and Pakistan, replaces Aaron Finch. He has shown versatility in the kinds of roles he can fill in our ODI lineup.
“Our next opportunity in the ODI format will be in India next year, which will provide us the chance to experience comparable circumstances to the World Cup in October.”
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