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2022-02-08 17:53:25

Australia have named a full-strength line-up for next month’s three-Test tour of Pakistan in their first squad announcement since the resignation of Justin Langer as coach.

The Australians will play in Pakistan for the first time in almost 25 years and the series will be the Test side’s first overseas tour since facing England in the 2019 Ashes series.

Fast bowler Josh Hazlewood returns from injury while Scott Boland, one of the stand-out performers during Australia’s 4-0 Ashes series win over England earlier in the season, retains his place in the Pat Cummins-captained squad.

Concerns that senior players would pull out of the tour due to security issues after both England and New Zealand withdrew from tours of Pakistan late last year have proven unfounded.

No Australian team has travelled to Pakistan since 1998.

“This squad covers for all scenarios including the conditions given it has been such a long time since Australia was last in Pakistan,” said selector George Bailey.

“With several sub-continent tours and a one-day World Cup in India on the near horizon, this is a great first-up challenge for the group after the successful home Ashes series.

“It’s also a very historic tour given the length of time since an Australian side last toured Pakistan.”

Ashton Agar is the only player included in the squad who did not feature in the Ashes series, which served as Langer’s last in charge before his resignation on Saturday.

The Australians will be led during the tour by interim coach Andrew McDonald.

The first Test will start in Rawalpindi on March 4, with the second meeting slated for Karachi on March 12. Lahore will host the final Test from March 21.

The two countries will also play three One Day Internationals and one Twenty20 match.

Australia’s squad for those encounters will be announced separately.

Australia Test squad: 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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