New Delhi: Reeling under a spat of retirements, Australia are ready to give their Test cricket team a facelift. And the focus, surely, is in the batting department.
According to reports, Cricket Australia have all but finalised their top three batsman for the upcoming two-Test tour of Bangladesh.
News Corp reported that Joe Burns and Shaun Marsh would be given the opening roles while Usman Khawaja is expected to bat first down, thus allowing Steve Smith to bat in his favourite fourth -- all in the hope that the inexperienced side will perform under their imperious skipper.
It may be mentioned that post-Ashes defeat, one half of their regular opening pair Chris Rogers announced retirement joining Michael Clarke in the sunset walk. Then, the thumb injury to David Warner during the One-Day International series in England, further complicated Australia's opening woes.
The report also claimed that uncapped Cameron Bancroft is set to be named in the Test squad. The Western Australian batsman impressed during Australia A's recent tour of India. And despite a relatively unproductive Ashes tour, Adam Voges is likely to retain his place to give the side some experience.
Besides, all-rounder James Faulkner is also expected to get a Test recall following his impressive county stint with Lancashire and also possibly to fill in or improve upon recently retired Shane Watson's unfulfilled talents. Faulkner will also give Mitchell Marsh a fight for the all-rounder's spot.
With Brad Haddin's retirement, the wicket-keeper's position is all but assured for Peter Nevill, who impressed in the Ashes tour.
In the spin department, Fawad Ahmed, Ashton Agar and Stephen O'Keefe are likely to fight for the second spot and join Nathan Lyon in the attack, considering the nature of pitches in Bangladesh.
The tour also could see the return of fast bowlers Pat Cummins, James Pattinson, and of course, Peter Siddle. Both Mitchell Johnson and Josh Hazlewood likely to skip the series in the hope getting enough, deserving rest ahead of the high stake series against New Zealand.
Australia will land in Dhaka on September 28, and train for four days there, before a three-day practice match against a Bangladesh Cricket Board XI in Fatullah from October 3 to 5. The series starts at Chittagong on October 9, with the second Test starting from October 17 in Dhaka.