Melbourne [Australia], Jan 22 (ANI): Left-arm spinner Jon Holland and paceman Jhye Richardson are the surprise inclusion in the 15-man Australian Test squad for the four-match series against South Africa, beginning March 1 at the Kingsmead Cricket Ground in Durban.
While Holland has featured in two Tests for Australia against Sri Lanka in 2016, Richardson has played only five first-class matches, however, bagging 17 wickets in four Sheffield Shield games for Western Australia.
Reflecting on Holland's inclusion, chief selector Trevor Hohns pointed out that the former was the outstanding spinner in the Sheffield Shield last season and that he was also named `Man of the Match` as Victoria clinched their third straight title.
"Jon was the second-leading wicket-taker in the Sheffield Shield last season and has performed well in the games he has played for Victoria this season. We envisage the wickets we will see in South Africa will not warrant the need to play two spinners", ESPNcricinfo quoted Hohns, as saying.
Talking about Richardson, Hohns emphasised that the pacer had bowled exceedingly well in the Sheffield Shield this season and that he would surely prove to be an exciting young prospect for the team.
"Jhye is a talented right-armer that bowls with very good pace through the air. He impressed in his first ODI and has bowled well in the Sheffield Shield this season. He is an exciting young prospect who will benefit immensely from his time with this squad", Hohns said.
Cameron Bancroft and Peter Handscomb have also been retained in the Test squad despite their failure to make much impact during the Ashes series.
Out of the Test squad, only opener David Warner will feature in the Twenty20 tri-series against England and New Zealand, beginning February 7.
It should be noted that Warner has been chosen as stand-in skipper for Twenty20 tri-series to provide Steve Smith with a break.
D'Arcy Short has been included in the T20I squad following a series of outstanding performances in the Big Bash League (BBL), while left-arm swing bowler Ben Dwarshuis has also been named.
Meanwhile, Chris Lynn, who pulled out of the ODI squad against England due to a calf injury, has been recalled for T20 tri-series.
Australia squad for South Africa tour: Steve Smith (captain), David Warner, Cameron Bancroft, Jackson Bird, Pat Cummins, Peter Handscomb, Josh Hazlewood, Jon Holland, Usman Khawaja, Nathan Lyon, Mitchell Marsh, Shaun Marsh, Tim Paine, Jhye Richardson, Mitchell Starc.
T20 International Tri-Series squad: David Warner (captain), Aaron Finch, Ashton Agar, Alex Carey, Ben Dwarshuis, Travis Head, Chris Lynn, Glenn Maxwell, Kane Richardson, D'Arcy Short, Billy Stanlake, Marcus Stoinis, Andrew Tye, Adam Zampa.(ANI)