Cricket-Neser recalled to Australia squad for NZ test series

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SYDNEY (Reuters) – All-rounder Michael Neser was recalled to the Australia squad for two tests in New Zealand in the only notable change to the group from the home series against Pakistan and West Indies.


The World Test champions will face the Black Caps in the first test in Wellington starting at the end of the month and Christchurch from March 8 to 12.

Neser, 33, joins Scott Boland as the reserve pace-bowling options for the Australians after Lance Morris and Jhye Richardson were ruled out by side strains.

“It’s great to see Michael Neser get another opportunity in the squad following his ever-consistent performances over a long period of time,” chief selector George Bailey said in a news release.

“We expect this tour will be a tough challenge against a very strong side who have been so consistent at home for a long period of time.”

Neser looks unlikely to win his third cap unless there is an injury to the first-choice pace trio of skipper Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazlewood, who played all five tests against Pakistan and West Indies.


Australia swept Pakistan 3-0 over the New Year but tied the series against West Indies 1-1 after a stunning upset in the second test in Brisbane.

Matthew Renshaw retained his place as the back-up batter in the 14-man squad but all indications are that Steve Smith will retain his spot at the top of the order with Usman Khawaja – a partnership formed after the recent retirement of David Warner.

Squad: Pat Cummins (captain), Scott Boland, Alex Carey, Cameron Green, Josh Hazlewood, Travis Head, Usman Khawaja, Marnus Labuschagne, Nathan Lyon, Mitchell Marsh, Michael Neser, Matthew Renshaw, Steve Smith, Mitchell Starc.

(Reporting by Nick Mulvenney in Sydney; Editing by Christopher Cushing)

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