Selectors have unveiled their squad for Australia’s first Test against Pakistan next Thursday, with some controversial inclusions and omissions among the 14-man list.
Batsman Joe Burns will be given another run as Australia's opener in the looming Test series against Pakistan.
'TAKES GUTS': Test hopeful Will Pucovski's bold decision
He, Travis Head and Cameron Bancroft have won recalls to a 14-strong Australian squad for the first Test against Pakistan starting on November 21.
Incumbent opener Marcus Harris has been dropped with Mitch Marsh and Peter Siddle also missing from Australia's last Test team from the Ashes series.
Paceman Pat Cummins and Head have been named joint vice-captains.
Australia's chairman of selectors Trevor Hohns says Queenslander Burns will open the batting with David Warner in the series-opener in Brisbane.
"Obviously it's his home ground and he generally performs pretty well there," Hohns told reporters in Perth.
"Joe in the past years when he has been given the opportunity to play for Australia, his record is not too bad.
"He was desperately unlucky not to be included in that Ashes squad.
"But we consider now is the right time for him to come back, try to form a good partnership at the top with David Warner.
"They know each other well, they're good friends and left and right-handed (opening combination) is pretty useful in our view."
Some fans thought Harris and Usman Khawaja were particularly unlucky to be overlooked, while many thought the selectors got it pretty well spot on.
However, a common issue from fans on social media centred around the inclusion of Cameron Bancroft after a poor Ashes series and lean Sheffield Shield form.
Pretty good. Burns deserves his selection. Bancroft needs to make a statement with this call-up— Ian Vinh Bao #TLJGang 🇦🇺 (@thebabygooner) November 14, 2019
Great to see Burns in the squad. Should get the start as one of the openers— Rooster Trooper TK1908 (@RoosterTrooper) November 14, 2019
He’s officially lost his mind.— Peter Sloss (@PeteSloss) November 14, 2019
You’re going to have to sit me down and speak very slowly, when explaining how there are better options up top than Marcus Harris... #AUSvPAK— Corbin Middlemas (@CorbinMiddlemas) November 14, 2019
Joe Burns into the Australian test squad again. FINALLY! #AUSvPAK— Rooster Trooper TK1908 (@RoosterTrooper) November 14, 2019
Would’ve liked Usman instead of Bancroft. Neser deserves a chance but our bowling stocks are so healthy. Sayers unlucky as always— Natalie Thorn (@NazzaT7) November 14, 2019
Head is likely to slot back into the middle order after being dropped for the final Ashes Test against England in September.
Young gun pulls out for mental health reasons
Young Victorian batsman Will Pucovski asked not to be considered for selection, citing mental health reasons.
The highly-talented but untried 21-year-old informed team management in Perth on Tuesday evening.
Cricket Australia's national teams boss Ben Oliver applauded Pucovski "for having the courage to discuss his situation".
"Will's decision not to nominate for Test selection was the right one in the circumstances and one that everyone in the Australian cricket family supports," he said in a statement.
"By Will bravely taking this position, he will undoubtedly inspire others facing similar challenges to speak up and take positive steps towards improving their mental wellbeing."
Pucovski also withdrew from the Test squad against Sri Lanka last February for mental health reasons.
The second Test, a day-nighter in Adelaide, starts November 29.
Australia squad: Tim Paine (capt), David Warner, Joe Burns, Cameron Bancroft, Marnus Labuschagne, Steve Smith, Travis Head, Matthew Wade, Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc, James Pattinson, Nathan Lyon, Josh Hazlewood, Michael Neser.