Selectors opt to give Callum Ferguson more time in the middle.
Australian Ashes hopefuls Usman Khawaja and Phil Hughes were Monday withdrawn from the Cricket Australia Invitational XI to play England in the tourists’ final warm-up match before the Test series starts next week.
The pair were expected to take part in the four-day match in Sydney from Wednesday but selectors opted to give Callum Ferguson another go after he had limited time at the crease during Australia A’s rain-affected match against England in Hobart last week.
“Callum Ferguson didn’t get the depth of international exposure we hoped to give him through his Australia A selection,” said CA’s team performance general manager Pat Howard.
“In light of Callum’s selection, Phil Hughes, who has played a lot of international cricket in recent months, will remain with South Australia for its next Shield match.”
Khawaja was released to play for Queensland in their home Sheffield Shield match against New South Wales because of several injuries in the Bulls squad.
“In selecting the final XI, we have tried to be flexible given the needs of particular states and individual players following the latest round of first-class matches across the country,” said Howard.
“We recognise the injury situation in Queensland, so it is appropriate to release Usman Khawaja from this tour match to support his state.”
The Invitational XI, coached by Geoff Lawson, contains a strong batting line-up led by Ed Cowan, Aaron Finch and Adam Voges, alongside a second-string bowling contingent, with all Australia’s frontline pacemen either rested or playing Shield cricket.
The first Ashes Test starts in Brisbane on November 21.
Invitational XI: Ed Cowan, Aaron Finch, Callum Ferguson, Adam Voges, Ben Rohrer, Ryan Carters, Peter Nevill (capt), Stephen O’Keefe, Josh Lalor, Chris Tremain, Nic Bills