Seven New South Wales Blues have been selected in a 25-man squad for the Australia versus Australia A match in Southampton from 23-26 July that will determine the final make-up of the Ashes squad.
Steve Smith, David Warner, Mitchell Starc, Pat Cummins and Nathan Lyon are among seven members part of the Australian Men’s World Cup squad selected. Test fast bowler Josh Hazlewood and Australia’s most recent Test debutant, Kurtis Patterson, will also be involved.
The first Ashes Test against England starts 1 August at Edgbaston, the same ground Australia lost to their hosts in the One-Day World Cup semi-final on Thursday.
The intra-squad match at the Ageas Bowl, Southampton, will feature 12 players in each team.
Patterson and Hazlewood are currently touring the United Kingdom with Australia A, who are undefeated after four One-Day matches and a four-day fixture against English County Sussex last week.
Australia A start their next match against the England Lions on Sunday in Canterbury.
National Selector Trevor Hohns said the National Selection Panel intended to finalise the Ashes squad as soon as possible after the match in Southampton.
“Even though we know what the core of our Ashes squad will look like, the match in Southampton will be a final opportunity for some players to push their cases for inclusion in the touring party as there are still a small number of spots up for grabs,” said Hohns.
“The Australia A tour and the intra-squad match was set up some time ago with the specific purposes of getting the players game time in English conditions against the Dukes ball to give them the best chance of success, if chosen, in the upcoming Ashes series.”
Starc is one of the favourites to be named the ICC World Cup Player of the Tournament courtesy of his record-breaking 27 wickets during the past six weeks.
The left-arm quick created a new record for most wickets at a World Cup surpassing the 26 taken by Australian and Blues paceman Glenn McGrath in 2007.
Warner also enters the pivotal intra-squad fixture in terrific form after scoring 647 runs during the World Cup at an average of 71.88.
The powerhouse left-handed opening batsman is the second leading run-scorer, one run behind Indian opener Rohit Sharma, with the final to come between England and New Zealand on Sunday at Lord’s.
World class batsman Steve Smith also made 379 runs at 37.9 during the World Cup.
Current No. 1 Test bowler Pat Cummins claimed 14 wickets in 10 matches during the tournament.
The Australia A tour marks a return from back injury for Hazlewood. He claimed three wickets in the three limited-overs fixtures he has played, and although wicketless in the four-day match against Sussex, was tidy conceding just two runs per over.
Patterson has had limited opportunity so far on tour. The left-handed batsman made his Test debut at the Gabba’ in January against Sri Lanka making his maiden century in the second Test of that series, a week later, at Manuka Oval, Canberra.
Australia – Australia A Squad
Cameron Bancroft (WA)
Jackson Bird (TAS)
Joe Burns (QLD)
Alex Carey (SA)
Patrick Cummins (NSW)
Peter Handscomb (VIC)
Marcus Harris (VIC)
Josh Hazlewood (NSW)
Jon Holland (VIC)
Travis Head (SA)
Usman Khawaja (QLD)
Marnus Labuschagne (QLD)
Nathan Lyon (NSW)
Mitchell Marsh (WA)
Michael Neser (QLD)
Tim Paine (TAS)
Kurtis Patterson (NSW)
James Pattinson (VIC)
Will Pucovski (VIC)
Peter Siddle (VIC)
Steven Smith (NSW)
Mitchell Starc (NSW)
Chris Tremain (VIC)
Matthew Wade (TAS)
David Warner (NSW)