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Unknown Batsman, Mystery Bowler And Shock Wicket Keeper in Aussies Ashes Squad

Warning: this story contains Marsh brother news which may annoy some fans.

17/11/2017 10:00 AM AEDT | Updated 17/11/2017 11:19 AM AEDT
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You beauty, I'm in the Aussie team.

The Australian Ashes squad for the first Test against England starting next Thursday in Brisbane has been announced and OK, whoa, hello, that was unexpected.

Well, the likely squad was leaked overnight so it wasn't the world's biggest shock. But still, if you missed all the speculation, the make-up of this team definitely has some surprises. Here are the big ones:

Gone is batsman Matt Renshaw, replaced by Cameron Bancroft

Young Queensland opener Renshaw averages a handy 36 in his 10 Tests to date, but he's barely made a run in domestic cricket this year. The team organised a special net session for him against the top Australian pacemen, seemingly as an avenue of last reprieve. He must have nicked a few.

The new opening batsman to partner Dave Warner is Cameron Bancroft, a West Australian who turns 25 on Monday. The right-hander has been talked about in dispatches for at least two years now, and nailed his spot with a double century for WA last week in Perth.

"Cameron has been a player of interest to us for some time now, having been unlucky to miss out on the Test tour to Bangladesh that was cancelled in 2015. He is a very talented and tough cricketer who shows a good temperament for Test cricket," national selector Trevor Hohns said.

"He has thoroughly earned and deserves his call-up following some outstanding performances in the early rounds of the JLT Sheffield Shield competition this season."

At one point, Bancroft -- who has kept wicket for Australia in a T20 international -- was talked about as the Ashes gloveman. But that position went to...

Tim Paine, a nation turns its lonely eyes to you

Whoa, where did that one come from? The Tasmanian played a few Tests back in the day, deputising for injured incumbent Brad Haddin. He can barely get a longform game for his state these days, though he's a star in T20 cricket.

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Paine in action against England recently batting for the Cricket Australia XI

But while all the debate centred on Matthew Wade and Peter Nevill, selectors blindsided everyone by selecting the 32-year-old known for his attacking batting. Feels like selectors are looking for that Adam Gilchrist-type player.

Shaun Marsh is back. Again. Again. Again

In his latest incarnation as an Australian Test cricketer, the elder Marsh brother will come in at number six in the batting order, replacing Glenn Maxwell. This might just be a selectorial masterstroke. Marsh is experienced and solid. Australia's middle order has been a real apple crumble in recent times, and the 34-year-old might just turn it into something more sturdy.

Chadd who?

Chadd Sayers is 30, he's been bowling well for South Australia for some years now and he's in the extended squad. Probably won't play a Test unless a bowler goes down with injury, but as Trevor Hohns said, he's a definite chance in Adelaide.

"Chadd's inclusion in the squad is with a view to the Adelaide Test and the conditions that we may see there. He swings the ball with good control and knows the conditions well at his home ground. He gives us this bowling option if required."

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They Sayers a pretty good player. #dadcaption

The full squad is...

Steve Smith (c) (NSW)
David Warner (vc) (NSW)
Cameron Bancroft (WA)
Jackson Bird (TAS)
Pat Cummins (NSW)
Peter Handscomb (VIC)
Josh Hazlewood (NSW)
Usman Khawaja (QLD)
Nathan Lyon (NSW)
Shaun Marsh (WA)
Tim Paine (TAS)
Chadd Sayers (SA)
Mitchell Starc (NSW)

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