High stakes in Australia A tour match

Head was Australia’s vice-captain during the Ashes but that didn’t spare him from being axed for the deciding fifth Test at The Oval.


The left-hander’s century against a Josh Hazlewood-led NSW attack in the last Sheffield Shield round has put him in the box seat to edge out talented youngster Pucovski and fill the middle-order vacancy in Australia’s Test side.

National coach Justin Langer and chief selector Trevor Hohns will sit down on Wednesday to pick their squad for the Gabba, with Harris, Khawaja and Burns competing to open the batting alongside David Warner.

“We won’t just pick it on current form. That’s important to realise,” Langer said.

“Current form is important, what guys have done in the past over their careers is important, what they’ve done in the last six months is important.

“You saw with the way we selected this T20 side … we’re getting really specific about the sort of players we want.

Bullish: Marnus Labuschagne in action for Queensland in the Sheffield Shield competition.Credit:Getty Images

“A lot of it selects itself but there’ll be a couple of spots up for grabs, I reckon. And it’ll be a tough call because there’s a lot of talent in Australia.”

Warner will miss NSW’s Sheffield Shield clash with Western Australia starting on Monday at the SCG to be with his unwell daughter.

Musa clocked 147km/h on international debut during Friday’s Twenty20 decider in Perth.

“It’s going to be a good experience for the youngsters who have come in,” veteran Pakistan quick Wahab Riaz said.

“Obviously we know that Australian players are good hookers and pullers of the ball and they play the cut shot really well.

“So bowling within the stumps and pitching the ball a little bit more up is more effective to them.”


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