Australia recall Paine after seven years for Ashes
|Australia v England: First Ashes Test|
|Venue: Gabba, Brisbane Dates: 23-27 November Time: 00:00 GMT|
|Coverage: Ball-by-ball Test Match Special commentary on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra and BBC Sport website. Live text commentary on BBC Sport website and app.|
Australia have handed a surprise call-up to wicketkeeper Tim Paine for the first Ashes Test in Brisbane.
The 32-year-old, who has not been keeping for state side Tasmania, last played a Test in 2010.
England-born opener Matt Renshaw, 21, is left out in favour of uncapped 24-year-old Cameron Bancroft, while batsman Shaun Marsh, 34, earns a recall and is set to bat at number six.
The first Test at the Gabba begins on 23 November at 00:00 GMT.
England hold the Ashes after winning the 2015 series 3-2.
Chadd Sayers joins Jackson Bird in providing cover to a strong pace-bowling attack of Mitchell Starc, Pat Cummins and Josh Hazlewood.
In all, Australia have dropped six players who played in their last Test, a seven-wicket win in Bangladesh in September.
All-rounders Glenn Maxwell and Hilton Cartwright, spinners Ashton Agar and Steve O’Keefe and wicketkeeper Matthew Wade join Renshaw in missing out.
While Wade’s omission is no surprise – the 29-year-old has a highest score of 17 in the Sheffield Shield this season and has passed 50 only once in 10 Tests – that he has been replaced by Paine is.
Indeed, Wade was keeping Paine out of the Tasmania side in October, with Paine sent to play for a Cricket Australia XI against England in a warm-up game in Adelaide.
However, Paine made a half-century, and was recalled from another scheduled appearance against England in Townsville to play for Tasmania against Victoria, where he made an unbeaten 71 playing as a specialist batsman.
“Tim was identified as an an international player a long time ago and has always been renowned as a very good gloveman,” said Australia national selector Trevor Hohns.
“His batting form in recent outings for the Cricket Australia XI and Tasmania have been good.”
Renshaw, who was born in Middlesbrough and was a childhood friend of England captain Joe Root, made his Test debut a year ago and registered a century in his fourth match, against Pakistan.
However, the 21-year-old has a highest score of 19 in six Shield innings in the Australian summer and is replaced by Bancroft, who made 228 not out for Western Australia against South Australia.
Bancroft is also a wicketkeeper, but will not take the gloves in favour of concentrating on his role at the top of the order.
“Cameron has been a player of interest to us for some time now,” said Hohns. “He is a very talented and tough cricketer who shows a good temperament for Test cricket.”
Marsh averages 36 with the bat from 23 previous Tests.
His selection to fill the role at number six means Australia have no all-round option, so the bowling will have to be shared between the three pacemen and off-spinner Nathan Lyon.
“Shaun is playing very well at the moment,” said Hohns. “He is a versatile player who can slot in anywhere in the batting order and will add valuable experience.”
Former Australia batsman Marcus North on Radio 5 live
Paine has only just come back in the last 12 to 15 months from a serious injury. He doesn’t have a lot of form in making big runs but he has always been regarded as a first class gloveman.
An Ashes Test series has the biggest context in world cricket and the scrutiny is 10-fold. The Australian selectors have looked a little panicky in their choices in the past because they’re under a lot of scrutiny.
Full squad: Steve Smith (captain), David Warner, Cameron Bancroft, Jackson Bird, Pat Cummins, Peter Handscomb, Josh Hazlewood, Usman Khawaja, Nathan Lyon, Shaun Marsh, Tim Paine, Chadd Sayers, Mitchell Starc