Warner, three new pacemen in Australian squad
Warner, who is best known for his explosive batting in shorter forms of the game, replaces all-rounder Shane Watson, who along with Mitchell Johnson, Patrick Cummins, Ryan Harris and Shaun Marsh has been ruled out with injury.cricket Updated: Nov 26, 2011 14:32 IST
Big-hitting opener David Warner is set to make his Test debut after being named on Saturday along with three new fast bowlers in an injury-ravaged Australian squad to take on New Zealand.
Warner, who is best known for his explosive batting in shorter forms of the game, replaces all-rounder Shane Watson, who along with Mitchell Johnson, Patrick Cummins, Ryan Harris and Shaun Marsh has been ruled out with injury.
The reshaped squad for next Thursday's first of two Tests against New Zealand at Brisbane's Gabba ground now includes pace trio James Pattinson, Ben Cutting and Mitchell Starc.
Cricket Australia general manager Pat Howard said the influx of four debutants would not cheapen Australia's baggy green cap for next week's Test match.
"It's a fine balance. You don't want to cheapen the baggy green but you have to make sure you are putting players on the field that are in absolute tip top condition," Howard said.
New national selector John Inverarity said the absence of the injured players gave the newcomers a chance to join the squad and perform on the international stage.
"Although injuries to those key players are not ideal, this provides an opening for these promising young players to come into the Australian squad and further their development," he said.
It is likely that one of Cutting, 24, this season's leading wicket-taker in the domestic Sheffield Shield, and 21-year-olds Pattinson and Starc will carry the drinks at the Gabba.
Spinner Michael Beer and swing bowler Trent Copeland, who were part of the South Africa Test squad, have missed selection for the team that takes on New Zealand in Brisbane starting Thursday.
Howard said fans should expect to see more new faces in the Australian team this southern summer.
"This summer we are taking on a squad mentality and building depth," he said.
"Players are going to come in and out regardless of who they are.
"We will take performances on board to try and build the strength of depth that we really need - that's regardless of the 18-year-old or the 36-year-old."
Howard said players would only be considered if they were in top form and 100 percent fit.
Inverarity urged Australia's emerging batsmen to press for Test selection throughout the coming season of Tests against New Zealand and India.
"We want lots more batsmen knocking on the door," Inverarity said.
"You pick your best side with an eye to the future.
"If there are some senior batsmen to be replaced then it's got to be the younger batsmen making the quantity of runs to press their claim."
In the absence of Watson, wicketkeeper Brad Haddin has been appointed stand-in vice-captain.
"Brad is an experienced member of the squad, has had leadership responsibilities in the past and we believe those qualities will make him a good vice-captain for this match," Inverarity said.
Michael Clarke (captain), Phillip Hughes, David Warner, Usman Khawaja, Ricky Ponting, Michael Hussey, Brad Haddin (vice-captain), Peter Siddle, Mitchell Starc, Nathan Lyon, James Pattinson, Ben Cutting. (12th man to be named).