After four members of the Australian Test squad failed in the CA XI match against Sri Lanka, the selectors have bitten the bullet and added star batsman Kurtis Patterson to the group available for selection. Patterson was a controversial omission from the squad after a respectable 4 years in the Sheffield Shield for NSW, and has forced his way in.
The initial idea was for the four players, Joe Burns, Matt Renshaw, Marnus Labuschagne and Will Pucovski, to have a “bat off” for spots in the batting line up for the upcoming test series against Sri Lanka. Patterson, along with several other rising stars, were selected to add to their experience.
In the first innings Patterson thoroughly showed up the Test four, scoring 157 not out while Burns, Renshaw and Labuschagne all got out in the single digits. Pucovski was gone for 23. In the second dig all four improved slightly, with Renshaw achieving a 10, Burns 22, Labuschagne 50 and Pucovski 33 not out. Patterson again outshone the foursome, however, getting 102 not out to take his match total to 259 runs not out.
After this display Patterson has been rushed into the test squad, where he looks set to make his international debut against Sri Lanka on Thursday. After Pucovski and Labuschagne also achieved reasonable results for the CA XI they will likely join him (alongside established stars Marcus Harris, Usman Khawaja and Travis Head), with frontrunner for a Test recall Joe Burns failing to take his opportunities.
Star fast bowler Josh Hazelwood has been scratched from the squad with stress fractures in his back, with Jhye Richardson (who starred in the recent one-day series against India) replacing him. This means that there could potentially be three debutants in the Australian team on Thursday, if Patterson, Richardson and Pucovski are all selected.