Wade makes way for Paine; Bancroft, Marsh too get nod

Australia are backed for Ashes success
Ground staff takes a stunning catch during the CA XI v England game
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18 November, 2017

Tim Paine has been confirmed as Australia's wildcard wicketkeeper for the Ashes opener, nine months after contemplating retirement and seven years after his most recent Test.

Batsman Shaun Marsh won yet another recall, too, as Australia selectors rolled the dice ahead of next week's first Test at the 'Gabba.

The axings of Matthew Renshaw, Matthew Wade and Glenn Maxwell were less of a shock, as all three men were under pressure to fire heading into the Sheffield Shield season.

Bancroft, Paine and Marsh were all strongly-touted during the 24 hours preceding Cricket Australia's official announcement - but Sayers' promotion came from even further left field as an extra seam option alongside Mitchell Starc, Pat Cummins, Josh Hazlewood and Jackson Bird.

"Tim was identified as an global player a long time ago and has always been renowned as a very good gloveman, also performing well for us whenever he has represented Australia in any format", he said.

The veteran is a much-maligned figure among Australian cricket fans but his recent form, described as career-best by state coach Justin Langer, includes a Shield knock of 91 against the Test attack in Sydney. "I think Australia's bowlers are excellent".

Ex-Australia spinner Stuart MacGill slammed the Australian selectors, calling them "morons masquerading as mentors".

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"Hohns added: "(Cameron) is a very talented and tough cricketer, who shows a good temperament for Test cricket".

Marsh's selection was justified by Hohns, who said he was "playing very well at the moment", a comment he could not attribute to dumped opener Renshaw. "Times (sic) up gents", he tweeted.

Bancroft scored an unbeaten 228 against South Australia this week and was unlucky to miss out on a Test debut two years ago when the 2015 tour to Bangladesh was cancelled over security concerns.

"He went back and scored Shield runs previous year - he got 600 runs at an average of 60 towards the back end of the Shield summer".

The Aussies appear to have made several bombshell selections, with Tim Paine set to take the wicketkeeping glove despite having not kept for Tasmania in the Sheffield Shield this season.

SQUAD: Steve Smith (capt), David Warner, Cameron Bancroft, Jackson Bird, Pat Cummins, Peter Handscomb, Josh Hazlewood, Usman Khawaja, Nathan Lyon, Shaun Marsh, Tim Paine, Chadd Sayers, Mitchell Starc.


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