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POST TIME: 15 November, 2019 00:00 00 AM
Bancroft, Burns return for Pakistan Tests
AFP, Sydney

Bancroft, Burns return for Pakistan Tests

Cameron Bancroft and Joe Burns got the nod Thursday for Australia's Test squad to face Pakistan, with Usman Khawaja and Marcus Harris axed after flopping during the Ashes series against England. Bowling all-rounder Michael Neser was also included as a back-up to the formidable pace attack of Josh Hazelwood, Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc and James Pattinson.

Bancroft was only rushed into the Australia A team at the last minute this week when Nic Maddinson pulled out to deal with mental health issues. But he made the most of his opportunity, top-scoring with 49 in their first innings total of 122 all out to put himself in the reckoning after failing to make an impact in the Ashes on his return to Test cricket after a ball-tampering ban.

He is one of three specialist openers, along with Burns and Warner, but is more likely to play down the order if selected for the two Tests starting in Brisbane next week, followed by a day-night clash in Adelaide. Burns was unlucky to be overlooked for the Ashes having scored a century in the last Test he played against Sri Lanka in February.

National selector Trevor Hohns suggested he would open with Warner, pointing out that “he has Test hundreds on the board and has combined very well with David in the past”. Harris and Khawaja miss out after failing to impress in England or in the Australia A match, which was seen as a “bat-off” for the Test slots up for grabs.