Usman Khawaja, the Australian batsmen, will be striving for a Test recall when he captains Australia ‘A ‘ four-day team during the upcoming tour of South Africa in July.
However, there is much doubt over the tour, which includes two four-day matches against South Africa A and a 50-over tri-series also involving India A, because of the pay dispute engulfing Australian cricket. Australian cricketers may boycott playing for their country after the current pay deal expires on June 30 if negotiations between Cricket Australia and the Australian Cricketers’ Association continue to stall.
If the South African tour eventuates, Khawaja will be hoping to put his best foot forward after surprisingly being relegated to the sidelines during the recent four-Test series in India. Khawaja will captain an experienced team boasting incumbent Test No.6 Glenn Maxwell, who has been named as vice-captain, all-rounder Hilton Cartwright and paceman Jackson Bird.
Travis Head, the South Australian captain, will skipper the 50-over team, which boasts veteran Moises Henriques and Test all-rounder Ashton Agar.
Trevor Hohns, Australia’s chief selector, said it was a “well-balanced” squad. “We have opted for a well-balanced squad featuring some experience blended with younger players, with an emphasis on building our depth for the future,” he said. “This is a great chance for these players to experience foreign conditions against a quality international sides and really test their skills.
“With an upcoming Test series in South Africa early next year it is also an opportunity to impress with their performances and put their names forward for consideration.
Hohns said the 23-year-old Head deserved an opportunity to take the leadership reins. “Travis is a capable young leader and he will benefit from the opportunity at this level,” he said. “There were some senior players that missed out on an opportunity this time round but this will certainly not detract from their chances of representing Australia in the future.”
Australia A four-day squad: Usman Khawaja (c), Glenn Maxwell (vc), Ashton Agar, Cameron Bancroft, Jason Behrendorff, Jackson Bird, Alex Carey, Hilton Cartwright, Travis Head, Kurtis Patterson, Chadd Sayers, Mitchell Swepson, Chris Tremain, Jack Wildermuth
Australia A one-day squad: Travis Head (c), Ashton Agar, Jason Behrendorff, Scott Boland, Alex Carey, Hilton Cartwright, Sam Heazlett, Moises Henriques, Daniel Hughes, Kane Richardson, Marcus Stoinis, Mitchell Swepson, Chris Tremain, Jack Wildermuth