Australia looking strong heading into Gabba Test

New captain Pat Cummins is excited about how strong most of the team and the squad looks. Photo (WisdenCricket - Twitter)

Australia has announced their XI for the first test, with captain Pat Cummins excited about how strong most of the team is looking.

The Australia XI was announced on Sunday afternoon. Marcus Harris is set to open the batting with David Warner, with Travis Head the preferred over Usman Khawaja at number five.

Both had been in fine form, with Head scoring 394 runs at 49.3 in eight Sheffield Shield innings. Khawaja though had scored more runs and had a better average than Head, scoring the second-most runs so far (460) at 65.7

Cummins told media at the Ashes launch, after the announcement of the XI that it was a close race between Khawaja and Head. However, ultimately the South Australian was selected over the Queenslander.

“Travis has been playing a lot for us the last couple of years, he’s gone away and churned out runs over in England and here in Australia, we feel like he’s really ready to go,” Cummins said.

He added that he was glad that they could have Khawaja in the squad battling it out with Travis Head.

“Experience is great from Uzzie, we feel really lucky to have that in the squad.”

The Australia squad is looking strong for the first test, particularly Mitchell Starc. He’s coming off a sub-par T20 World Cup, taking nine wickets at 27.6. Cummins said the experienced left – armer is looking scarier and is raring to go up at The Gabba.

“He was fast, he was swinging the ball big, we weren’t surprised but it’s great to see,” he said.

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“You’ve got some of the best batters in the world, Steve Smith, Marnus who looked like Starc was a handful to them so all good signs.”

The 28-year-old is also excited about young Cameron Green. After a solid debut summer for Australia in 2020/21, the Western Australian all-rounder has started the Shield season strongly, scoring 364 runs at 40.4. 

Green has also increased his bowling workload this season, bowling 89 overs and taking six wickets at 48.7. Cummins added the reason behind this improvement was due to getting a proper pre-season into him this year.

“Just simple things like rhythm, your run-up, those things come naturally the more bowl, he’s bound to get more overs into his body,” he said. 

“He looks fast, he’s tall, I don’t like facing him, he’s a handful so I think we’ll see more overs out of him this summer.”

Cummins and the team are also excited about starting the summer on Wednesday and at the Gabba.

“It’s a place we love playing, it’s great that the first test of the series is here. I think we’ll just continue where we left off at the World Cup.

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