SYDNEY (Reuters) - Left arm spinner Jon Holland has been recalled to Australia’s test squad for their tour of South Africa in March, while fast bowler Jhye Richardson has been named for the first time.
With the exception of David Warner, captain Steve Smith’s entire test squad will miss the triangular Twenty20 series against England and New Zealand next month in order to prepare for the tour, Cricket Australia said on Monday.
Holland, the second spinner behind Nathan Lyon in the squad, and Richardson, who played two Twenty20 internationals and the first game of the ongoing one-day series against England, are the only two additions to the squad that took back the Ashes.
The 30-year-old Holland played two tests in Sri Lanka in 2016 but has not appeared for his country in any format since.
“Jon was the second leading wicket taker in the Sheffield Shield last season and has performed well in the games he has played for Victoria this season,” chairman of selectors Trevor Hohns said in a statement.
“We envisage the wickets we will see in South Africa will not warrant the need to play two spinners.
“Therefore, should Nathan not be able to play at any stage, we wanted to have the best specialist spinner available to us and based on current red ball form Jon warrants that spot.”
Hohns said Smith could do with a break before the South Africa series.
“Steve has had a very big summer and will benefit from a short break both physically and mentally, before he leaves for South Africa,” he added.
“The South African series is a very important one and we have made no secret of our desire to improve our record away from home.
“As such, we wanted to ensure the players had the best possible preparation and that means playing the tour match prior to the first test.”
The test squad leaves for South Africa on Feb. 15, with the tri-series being played from Feb. 3-21.
Warner will lead the Twenty20 side, which includes the uncapped fast bowler Ben Dwarshuis and batsman D’Arcy Short.
“David is a very capable leader and has captained in Steve’s absence before and done a fine job,” Hohns said.
“We wanted to ensure the T20 side had key leadership throughout this series and we know the team is in good hands with him at the helm.”
Twenty20 squad: David Warner (captain), Aaron Finch, Ashton Agar, Alex Carey, Ben Dwarshuis, Travis Head, Chris Lynn, Glenn Maxwell, Kane Richardson, D’Arcy Short, Billy Stanlake, Marcus Stoinis, Andrew Tye, Adam Zampa
Squad for South African tour: Steve Smith (captain), David Warner, Cameron Bancroft, Jackson Bird, Pat Cummins, Peter Handscomb, Josh Hazlewood, Jon Holland, Usman Khawaja, Nathan Lyon, Mitchell Marsh, Shaun Marsh, Tim Paine, Jhye Richardson, Mitchell Starc
Reporting by Greg Stutchbury in Wellington; Editing by Peter Rutherford