Michael Neser has capped off an incredible few weeks after earning a recall to the Australian Test cricket side for the upcoming tour of New Zealand. Pat Cummins' men embark on a red-ball tour of New Zealand for the first time in eight years, with tearaway quick Lance Morris missing out after suffering an injury in last week's historic third ODI victory against the West Indies.
Neser is the only new inclusion to the Australian squad that played Test series against Pakistan and the West Indies this summer. The Queenslander played the last of his two Tests in December 2022 but has been a regular around the red-ball set-up for the last five years.
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The classy all-rounder has been in brilliant form in white-ball cricket and helped guide the Brisbane Heat to the Big Bash title after beating the Sydney Sixers in last month's final. Neser may have to rely on injuries to Australia's star pace trio of Cummins, Josh Hazlewood and Mitchell Starc to add to his Test appearances for Australia, however, with the three quicks playing in all of Australia's Tests against Pakistan and the Windies.
"It's great to see Michael Neser get another opportunity in the squad following his ever-consistent performances over a long period of time and the conditions we expect," Australia's chairman of selectors George Bailey said. "As we know every Test match provides vital opportunities to obtain valuable WTC (World Test Championship) points and 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."
Victoria's Scott Boland has also been picked as part of the Aussie touring squad despite suffering an injury scare in the Sheffield Shield this week. The paceman suffered knee soreness in the match against South Australia and was unable to bowl in the second innings. He and Neser will form Australia's back-up pace options for the two-Test series beginning in Wellington on February 29.
Matt Renshaw will once again provide cover as the spare batter in a lean 14-man squad named by Australia. The two Tests across the Tasman will mark the first overseas series without retired opener David Warner. Steve Smith at the top of the , with the second match to get underway in Christchurch on March 8.
LETS GOOOOOOOOOOOO NESER SZN https://t.co/BbD1HX3MXe
— Aidan Edgecomb (@AidanEdgecomb6) February 9, 2024
The Queenslander in me thrilled to see Neser in Test squad.
The Kiwi in me really hoping he doesn't get a run coz I suspect his style of bowling would be quite useful on seaming NZ decks.
It's complex. https://t.co/BZ51SfEXbE
— Ed Jackson (@edjacko) February 8, 2024
NZ vs Aus 2023-24 - Lance Morris ruled out of New Zealand tour, Michael Neser returnshttps://t.co/hcUMzbrbVt
— Nazim Hussain (@NazimHu14020708) February 9, 2024
Realistically they could swap Green out for Neser, bump everyone up and bat him at 7. It’d be a cracker bowling line up and he can bat too.
— Mr Dobolina (@dobolina_mr) February 8, 2024
give neser a go. a better all rounder than green
— Ash Trees 🇦🇺 (@Ash_M11) February 9, 2024
— paRaY_YasiR ✍️ (@ParayYasir2) February 8, 2024
Lance Morris misses out through injury
Neser's inclusion represents a sad blow for Morris, who was forced off the field with a side strain in the third ODI against the Windies after completing just three balls in his fifth over. Morris had impressed up until that point with figures of 2-13 before leaving the field and being sent for scans.
"He just said he had a bit of pain in the side and was struggling a bit, so he'll get a scan in the next 12 to 24 hours and we'll know more then," captain Steven Smith said after the match. "He was probably a little bit nervous the other day making his debut, but he was starting to get some nice rhythm.
"He's been great around the group, for over a year now he's been there or thereabouts and it's great to see him get a couple of games in." The setback is harsh on Morris, who is yet to make his Test debut after being carefully managed through Australia's recent two Test series against Pakistan and the Windies.
The exciting West Australian quick - nicknamed 'The Wild Thing' - has been part of Australia's touring squads across the last two summers. He gained valuable experience as part of the Aussie touring squad that flew to India for last year's Border-Gavaskar series and is considered an exciting future Test prospect for Australia.
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