Sean Abbott ready for Test cricket: Nevill

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
·3-min read
In this article:
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

Sean Abbott is ready to make the step up to Test cricket, says the man who has tracked the paceman's development as closely as anybody in recent years.

Pat Cummins, Josh Hazlewood and Mitchell Starc will be Australia's first-choice pace attack at the Gabba, where this summer's Ashes begin on December 8.

But squeezing a five-Test series into six weeks means rotation will be on national selectors' radar, while James Pattinson's retirement from international cricket has nudged Abbott and other reserve pacemen closer to a baggy green.

Abbott was part of Australia's extended Test squad in 2020-21 before being named in the touring party for a series in South Africa that was abandoned.

The 29-year-old is among the Australian players set to travel to south-east Queensland for a high-stakes match, with selectors pitting Ashes aspirants against each other before picking a squad.

Peter Nevill was behind the stumps when Abbott made his first-class debut in 2011, while he skippered NSW throughout recent years until handing the captaincy over to Kurtis Patterson for this season.

Nevill believes Abbott has "all the ingredients needed to make the step up to Test cricket".

"He's certainly someone who's making a very strong case to be the next bowler in, should one of the big quicks go down," the former Test wicketkeeper said on the eve of the NSW-Victoria Sheffield Shield match at the MCG.

"Sean's been outstanding for a long period of time.

"I just can't sing his praises enough. He's a Test player in the making, both his batting and his bowling have just gone to new heights.

"He's been consistently our best bowler through the pre-season.

"His batting adds such a valuable string to his bow."

Michael Neser, repeatedly on drinks duty for Australia's Test side in recent years, and Jhye Richardson loom as Abbott's greatest rivals in his quest for a call-up.

Settling on the pace battery shapes as one of the hardest calls for selectors.

Mark Steketee snared a career-best haul of 7-44 for Queensland last month and is in selectors' thoughts, while Pattinson believes Victoria spearhead Scott Boland deserves an Ashes call-up.

"He's been an unbelievable bowler for a number of years," Pattinson said.

"He's an exceptional bowler to left-handers and it wouldn't surprise me if he's there or thereabouts."

Abbott and Boland, forced to wait seven weeks to start their Shield season because of state border closures, snagged respective match figures of 8-112 and 7-73 in their first chance to impress.

"He bowled with really good reverse-swing and some aggressive short stuff," Nevill said of Abbott.

Meanwhile, Nevill dismissed a report he would join Tim Paine in the enlarged pre-Ashes squad set to feature 25 players.

"The first I heard of it was when I was getting some text messages from my mates, whose mums had watched the news," the 36-year-old said.

"I haven't had any conversations with anybody from the national set-up in quite a while."

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting