The Ashes 2017 gets underway on November 23 with the first Test slated to be held at The Gabba in Brisbane. On Friday, the Australia announced their squad for the first two Ashes Tests, throwing more than a few surprises. Wicketkeeper Tim Paine was handed a shock recall after a seven-year Test absence and comes into the 13-man squad along with batsmen Cameron Bancroft and Shaun Marsh. The selections caused a massive uproar on Twitter and were described as "bombshells" in Australian press, while former Test bowler Stuart MacGill lashed out at those concerned.
MacGill, who played 44 Tests for Australia, taking 208 wickets, took to Twitter to make his displeasure known.
Ashes selections.... made by morons mascarading as mentors. Times up gents. https://t.co/LIfRIK1B41— stu macgill (@scgmacgill) November 16, 2017
If @pmnevill isn't being selected because he doesn't score enough runs then perhaps the Australian captain should remember the day he was first selected for an Ashes series.— stu macgill (@scgmacgill) November 16, 2017
Fans on Twitter too were up in arms and slammed the squad selection.
Am I not the only one who looks at Australia's ashes squad and think very very average? #Ashes— Oscar Beardmore-Gray (@oscarbg95) November 17, 2017
Can't get my head around this Australia test squad.— Darb (@AndyDarbs) November 17, 2017
Can not believe some of those selections. Can't wait to hear the selectors' justifications.— Richard Cohen (@rjcohen75) November 16, 2017
In a stunning selection, 32-year-old Paine, who was once on the brink of retirement over a serious finger fracture, was preferred to Wade and Peter Nevill for his first Test match since October 2010.
Bancroft, a 24-year-old right-hander, is in line for his Test debut at the expense of opening batsman Matthew Renshaw following a prolific series of scores for Western Australia in this season's domestic Sheffield Shield competition.
Shaun Marsh, 34, makes yet another return to the Australian side and is slated to bat at number six to shore up the batting instead of all-rounders Glenn Maxwell and Hilton Cartwright.
Australia squad: Steve Smith (capt), David Warner, Cameron Bancroft, Jackson Bird, Pat Cummins, Peter Handscomb, Josh Hazlewood, Usman Khawaja, Nathan Lyon, Shaun Marsh, Tim Paine, Chadd Sayers, Mitchell Starc.
(With AFP Inputs)