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Surprise call-ups for Australian Test squad

Cricket

Paceman Jhye Richardson and spinner Jon Holland have been included in Australia’s 15-man Test squad to tour South Africa.

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Richardson and Holland are in the squad for next month’s tour along with batsmen Cameron Bancroft and Peter Handscomb.

Apart from Richardson and Holland, the rest of the squad featured in Australia’s successful Ashes campaign against England.

Australian selector Trevor Hohns says Holland and Richardson are deserving of call-ups.

“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,” Hohns said in a statement on Monday.

“Jhye is a talented right-armer that bowls with very good pace through the air.

“He impressed in his first one-day international 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.”

All members of the Test squad will head to South Africa on February 15, with the exception of David Warner who will captain the Australian T20 side.

Hohns said the Test series had been prioritised over the T20 series.

“The South African series is a very important one and we have made no secret of our desire to improve our record away from home,” he said.

“As such, we wanted to ensure the players had the best possible preparation and that means playing the tour match prior to the first Test.”

The selection is another blow to South Australian swing bowler Chadd Sayers, for so long on the fringes of the Test squad.

Test squad: Steve Smith (capt), David Warner (vice-capt), 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.

– with AAP

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