Head in box seat to edge out Pucovski for Test in Australia A shootout


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. 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.

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Steve Smith, Pat Cummins, Josh Hazlewood, Mitchell Starc and Nathan Lyon will line up for the Blues.

Marnus Labuschagne will tune-up for the first Test in Queensland’s clash with Victoria, who have named 17-year-old batsman Jake Fraser-McGurk to debut at the MCG.

Skipper Tim Paine and fellow Tasmanian Matthew Wade are the other Test incumbents.

Pakistan have brought a youthful pace attack to Australia including 16-year-old Naseem Shah and 19-year-old Muhammad Musa.

Musa clocked 147km/h on international debut during Friday’s third T20 match 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.”

AAP

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