Australia's First Test Team Has Apparently Leaked


England batsman Dawid Malan warmed up for the first Ashes Test by hitting a century on the third day of the final tour game against a Cricket Australia XI in Townsville on Friday.

Tim Paine has been confirmed as Australia's wildcard wicketkeeper for the Ashes opener, nine months after contemplating retirement and seven years after his most recent Test.

Australia retained the women's Ashes with a six-wicket win over England in the first Twenty20 worldwide in Sydney on Friday.

Paine is widely regarded as the best wicket-keeper in the country but even with regular options Matthew Wade and Peter Nevill struggling for form, his selection still came from left-field - largely due to his struggles with the bat. "I think Australia's bowlers are excellent".

Bancroft can also keep wicket if needed.

Nevertheless, the route Trevor Hohns' panel has taken points to the fact that much like England, Australia has holes to fill.

"He has thoroughly earned and deserves his call-up following some outstanding performances in the early rounds of the Sheffield Shield competition this season".

Australian coach Darren Lehmann says his side have planned for every England player including Ben Stokes
GETTY IMAGES Australian coach Darren Lehmann says his side have planned for every England player including Ben Stokes

"Cameron has been a player of interest to us for some time now, having been unlucky to miss out on the Test tour to Bangladesh that was cancelled in 2015", Hohns said.

"Just go back to the basics, go back to Shield cricket, focus on some of the things he focused on before when he'd been successful and be patient".

"Ashes selections ... made by morons masquerading as mentors".

SQUAD: Steve Smith (capt), David Warner, Cameron Bancroft, Jackson Bird, Pat Cummins, Peter Handscomb, Josh Hazlewood, Usman Khawaja, Nathan Lyon, Shaun Marsh, Tim Paine, Chadd Sayers, Mitchell Starc.

In the multi-format series, the four points from two ODI wins, two points from the drawn day-night Test and the T20 victory enabled Australia take an unassailable lead and retain the trophy.

Paine has been named as Tasmanian teammate Matthew Wade's replacement behind the stumps, while Shaun Marsh has been recalled for the eighth time in his career.

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