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2 new caps in Australia squad for Bangladesh tests

New caps Fekete, Bancroft named in Australia squad for Bangladesh series

2 new caps in Australia squad for Bangladesh tests

SYDNEY (AP) -- Australia has named two uncapped players, Tasmania fast bowler Andrew Fekete and West Australia opener Cameron Bancroft, in a new-look 15-man squad to play two tests in Bangladesh next month.

Queensland batsmen Usman Khawaja and Joe Burns have been recalled to the squad along with allrounder Glenn Maxwell and left-arm spinner Stephen O'Keefe.

Steve Smith is captain and Adam Voges has been named vice-captain in the absence of the injured David Warner and Peter Nevill is wicketkeeper. The squad is relatively inexperienced with a combined tally of 242 test caps.

The selection of the 30-year-old Fekete, who has played only 18 first class matches, continues his sudden rise to prominence. He was the second-highest wicket-taker in the domestic Sheffield Shield competition last year with 37 at an average of 24.10.

After a dismal 3-2 Ashes series loss that culminated in the retirement of captain Michael Clarke and wicketkeeper Brad Haddin, opener Chris Rogers, allrounder Shane Watson and paceman Ryan Harris, and prompted widespread criticism of the selectors, Australia is looking to rejuvenate its lineup.

Fekete toured India with the Australia A team in July, playing in both four-day matches and taking five wickets. Australia captain Smith told reporters in Manchester on Sunday he hadn't yet met Fekete, who is the only Tasmanian in the touring squad.

"I haven't seen a great deal of him to be quite honest," Smith said. "I heard he bowled extremely well in India for the A stuff there and there' no doubt that the conditions are likely to be quite similar.

"I think he reverses the ball quite well and hopefully that will be one of our strengths that we'll be able to do well in Bangladesh and he certainly provides that option."

Bancroft also made the India tour with Australia A, building on an outstanding Sheffield Shield season. Selector Rod Marsh said Bancroft had impressed with his recent form and maturity.

"He can bat for long periods of time and scored an outstanding 150 against India A in Chennai," Marsh said. "On that tour he played spin well, fielded brilliantly at bat-pad and his whole demeanor was that of a player who is determined to play test cricket.

"He scored almost 900 first-class runs last season, he's young, hungry and he could become a very good player for us over a long period of time."

Khawaja returns to the test squad for the first time since the 2013 Ashes series.

Head coach Darren Lehmann said Khawaja was on the brink of a return last year, after a second outstanding season for Queensland, but suffered a knee injury which sidelined him for nine months.

Lehmann said Khawaja had developed his game and was now ready to seal his place in the Australia team.

"He has to just go and play and let his technique and his results and experience do the rest," he said. "He'll get a good run at it.

"He's been in and out of the side a little bit and only played a few games here and there, but to give him a good run at it and see how he goes would be exciting for the coaching group but also exciting for him and the team."

The first test begins at Chittagong on Oct. 9 and the second at Dhaka on Oct. 17.


Australia squad: Steve Smith (captain), Adam Voges, Cameron Bancroft, Joe Burns, Patrick Cummins, Andrew Fekete, Usman Khawaja, Nathan, Lyon, Mitchell Marsh, Shaun Marsh, Glenn Maxwell, Peter Nevill, Stephen O'Keefe, Peter Siddle, Mitchell Starc.

Updated : 2021-09-24 05:10 GMT+08:00