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Australia Unveils Test Squad for New Zealand Tour; Pacer Returns After 15 Months

  • Posted on February 9, 2024
  • Sports
  • By Top Stories

Australia has announced its 14-member Test squad for the upcoming series against New Zealand. Notable inclusions are the return of a pacer after 15 months and considerations due to player injuries. The first match begins on February 29 in Wellington, followed by the second on March 8 in Christchurch.

Australia Unveils Test Squad for New Zealand Tour; Pacer Returns After 15 Months Image Source

Australia has revealed its Test squad for the upcoming tour of New Zealand, with a focus on bolstering their pace attack. The squad, comprising 14 members, sees the return of a seasoned pacer after a hiatus of 15 months. This decision comes as Australia gears up for a crucial two-match Test series against New Zealand, marking their first encounter on Kiwi soil since 2016. The series holds significance as it is part of the World Test Championship (WTC), where both Australia and New Zealand currently occupy the top positions on the points table.

In a bid to fortify their bowling arsenal, Australia has recalled Michael Neser to the squad. Neser, who last played against the West Indies in December 2022, brings experience and depth to the team's pace options. His inclusion comes amidst an injury setback to Lance Morris, who sustained a side strain during the ODI series against the West Indies. Chief selector George Bailey expressed confidence in Neser's abilities, citing his consistent performances over the years and suitability to the anticipated conditions in New Zealand.

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Apart from Neser, the squad features other backup pacers like Scott Boland, offering flexibility in team selection based on pitch conditions. The team management is contemplating whether to field a specialist spinner in Nathan Lyon, considering the varying conditions that may not always favor spin bowling in New Zealand. Meanwhile, the batting lineup sees the retention of Matt Renshaw as a backup opener, with Steve Smith slated to continue his role as an opener, presenting a formidable challenge.

The first Test of the series is scheduled to commence on February 29 in Wellington, followed by the second Test on March 8 in Christchurch. With both teams aiming to consolidate their positions in the WTC, the series promises riveting cricketing action and intense competition.

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