Australia field four debutants against New Zealand

Australia field four debutants against New Zealand

Three new uncapped quickies -- James Pattinson, Mitchell Starc and Ben Cutting -- have been drafted into the 12-man squad after Patrick Cummins, Mitchell Johnson and Ryan Harris were all ruled out due to injuries.

Allrounder Shane Watson is in doubt for the first Test, which means explosive opening batsman Warner is likely to open alongside Philip Hughes.

Ricky Ponting and wicketkeeper Brad Haddin have a been handed a reprieve after sustaining heavy criticism for their poor performances this year.

Pattinson took four wickets in the first innings for Australia A against New Zealand in Brisbane in a warm-up match, while Starc took three in the same fixture. They are likely to partner Peter Siddle who would be leading the Australian bowling attack.

"The absence of these players obviously provides a great chance for David Warner, James Pattinson, Ben Cutting and Mitchell Starc to come into the squad and perform on the international stage and I know that is an opportunity they are all looking forward to," national selector John Inverarity was quoted as saying by tghe Sydney Morning Herald.

“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.”
Australia squad: Michael Clarke (c), Phillip Hughes, David Warner, Usman Khawaja, Ricky Ponting, Michael Hussey, Brad Haddin (wicket-keeper), Peter Siddle, James Pattinson, Mitchell Starc, Nathan Lyon, Ben Cutting.