Under-pressure David Warner was Wednesday spared the axe and included in Australia’s squad for the first two Ashes Tests and the World Test Championship final, while all-rounder Mitchell Marsh earned a recall. Veteran opener Warner is fighting to save his career after a lean run with the bat that had some questioning whether his time was over. But the 36-year-old will head to England as part of a 17-man squad that also includes Josh Inglis as cover for wicketkeeper Alex Carey, and Marcus Harris and Matthew Renshaw as back-up batters.
There was no room for batsman Peter Handscomb, who featured on the recent Test tour of India and is currently playing county cricket in England.
Big-hitting Marsh, who has long battled injuries, returns as a likely replacement for Cameron Green should he pick up an injury.
“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,” said chairman of selectors George Bailey.
“Marcus, Josh and Mitch return to the squad and provide valuable depth and flexibility within their respective skillsets.”
Australia play India at The Oval in the World Test Championship final from June 7 followed by five Ashes Tests at Edgbaston, Lord’s, Headingley, Old Trafford and The Oval.
Bailey said selectors would evaluate the makeup of the squad following the first three matches.
“We see value in revisiting the squad following the second Ashes Test given the short turnaround between the WTC final and the first Ashes Test, along with the length of the tour,” he said.
Australia squad: Pat Cummins (capt), Scott Boland, Alex Carey, Cameron Green, Marcus Harris, Josh Hazlewood, Travis Head, Josh Inglis, Usman Khawaja, Marnus Labuschagne, Nathan Lyon, Mitchell Marsh, Todd Murphy, Matthew Renshaw, Steve Smith, Mitchell Starc, David Warner
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