Australia on Tuesday named a full squad for its first Pakistan tour in 24 years, with spinners Mitchell Swepson and Ashton Agar lined up to support their formidable pace attack. Pat Cummins’ squad — who recently lost coach Justin Langer under appalling conditions — are slated to play a series of three tests in Rawalpindi, Karachi and Lahore from March 4. Bowler Josh Hazelwood is back in action after missing Australia’s most recent games. England 4-0 demolition in the Ashes. Scott Boland, who delighted fans with a stunning debut at the Melbourne Cricket Ground during that series – including a spell taking six wickets for seven runs – has been retained.
But there will be more backup in the spin department for the tough Nathan Lyon, who is joined by leg spinner Swepson and southpaw Agar.
Batters Marnus Labuschagne and Steve Smith can also bowl, giving tourists plenty of options when the subcontinental wickets start spinning.
It is the first Australian tour of Pakistan in nearly a quarter of a century.
Cricket-mad Pakistan has struggled to lure foreign sides back after its home internationals were banned after a deadly terror attack on the Sri Lanka Test side in 2009.
Pakistan was forced to play their home matches abroad – mostly in the United Arab Emirates – until 2015, when normal service was provisionally resumed.
For Australia, the tour will be an important test for Cricket Australia’s decision to push Langer out of the coaching role.
Andrew McDonald has been appointed as interim coach.
Pat Cummins (c), Ashton Agar, Scott Boland, Alex Carey, Cameron Green, Marcus Harris, Josh Hazlewood, Travis Head, Josh Inglis, Usman Khawaja, Marnus Labuschagne, Nathan Lyon, Mitchell Marsh, Michael Neser, Steve Smith, Mitchell Starc Mitchell Swepson, David Warner
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