Sydney: Big-hitting David Warner is set to make his Test debut after being named today in the squad to take on New Zealand, as selectors also brought in a fresh pace attack to counter a string of injuries.
Warner, who is best known for his explosive form in shorter forms of the game, replaces all-rounder Shane Watson, who, along with Mitchell Johnson, Patrick Cummins, Ryan Harris and Shaun Marsh, has been ruled out due to injury.
The reshaped squad now includes pace trio James Pattinson, Ben Cutting and Mitchell Starc.
National selector John Inverarity said the absence of the injured players gave the newcomers a chance to come into the squad and perform on the international stage.
"Although injuries to those key players are not ideal, this provides an opening for these promising young players to come into the Australian squad and further their development," he said.
Inverarity said while it was the first time Cutting, 24, had been included in an Australia squad he had impressed as the leading wicket-taker in the domestic Sheffield Shield competition.
Michael Beer and Trent Copeland, who were part of the South Africa Test squad, have missed selection for the team that takes on New Zealand in Brisbane starting Thursday.
Because of the absence of Watson, keeper Brad Haddin has been appointed stand-in vice-captain.
"Brad is an experienced member of the squad, has had leadership responsibilities in the past and we believe those qualities will make him a good vice-captain for this match," Inverarity said.
Squad: Michael Clarke (captain), Phillip Hughes, David Warner, Usman Khawaja, Ricky Ponting, Michael Hussey, Brad Haddin (vice-captain), Peter Siddle, Mitchell Starc, Nathan Lyon, James Pattinson, Ben Cutting. (12th man to be named).