Pat Cummins is set for his first away tour as Australian captain. Image: cricket.com.au

Australia has named an 18-player squad for March's test tour of Pakistan, a 24-year first and its first away test series since 2019.

Australia has named an 18-player squad for March’s test tour of Pakistan, its first away test series since the 2019 Ashes.

Headlining the squad is captain Pat Cummins, set for his first test tour as skipper, while Steve Smith retains his position as Cummins’ deputy.

After his brilliant impact late in the Ashes series, Usman Khawaja is set to tour his country of birth for the first time in his career.

Fast bowlers Scott Boland and Michael Neser have also been named following their inclusion in Australia’s winning Ashes squad, while Josh Hazlewood returns from injury. Jhye Richardson misses selection, having battled injury niggles in the second half of the Ashes.

Mitchell Swepson and Ashton Agar have been named as spin-bowling support for Nathan Lyon, in what is the first of Australia’s three subcontinental test tours in 2022.

Head of Selectors George Bailey expressed his confidence in the strength and diversity of the squad.

“With several subcontinent tours… on the near horizon this is a great first up challenge for the group after the successful home Ashes Series,” he said.

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

Wicket-keeper Josh Inglis also comes into the squad as support for Alex Carey, joined by fellow statesman Mitch Marsh, while Marcus Harris retains his place in the Test squad after missing selection in the fifth Ashes test.

Australia tour of Pakistan: Test squad

Pat Cummins (c), Steve Smith (vc), 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, Mitchell Starc, Mitchell Swepson, David Warner

The white-ball squads for Australia’s tour of Pakistan are yet to be named, but will join the test squad mid-tour as the test squad departs for Pakistan later this month.

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