Bancroft left out of Australia squad for New Zealand Tests

Bancroft will serve as reserve player for the day-night Test in Perth. © Getty

After their 2-0 series sweep against Pakistan, Australia have retained 13 of the 14-member Test squad for the upcoming three-match series against New Zealand at home, with the only omission being the extra batsman Cameron Bancroft.

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Squad: Tim Paine (C), Steven Smith, Mitchell Starc, Matthew Wade, David Warner, Joe Burns, Pat Cummins (VC), Josh Hazelwood, Travis Head (VC), Marnus Labuschagne, Nathan Lyon, Michael Neser, James Pattinson

Bancroft though remains attached to the squad as a reserve for the series opener in Perth, James Pattinson – who returned to the fold after serving a ban – and Michael Neser will also continue to serve as reserve pacemen.

“As we said prior to the Pakistan series we are striving to maintain a core group of players,” Trevor Hohns, Australia’s chairman of selectors, said. “The performance of the team against Pakistan was very impressive across all areas, while there is always some room to improve

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“We are backing the current batting line-up to continue their form across the next three Tests. Whilst not a part of this squad, Cameron Bancroft remains one of the standby players. Similarly, depending on conditions, we reserve the right to add a player to the squad at any time during the Series.

“Michael [Neser] will play for Queensland against New South Wales in the Marsh Sheffield Shield game at the SCG, as James [Pattinson] did last week for Victoria.”

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Australia are due to host New Zealand for a three-match Test series beginning with a day-night game in Perth from December 12. The second Test begins on Boxing Day at the iconic MCG and the final fixture will be played at the SCG from January 3.