Ashes squad: Selectors slammed as 'morons' after surprise calls

Ashes squad: Selectors slammed as 'morons' after surprise calls

Wicketkeeper Tim Paine was handed a shock recall after a seven-year Test absence on Friday as Australia gambled on sweeping changes for the first two Ashes Tests against England.

Rumours that Paine would be preferred to Matthew Wade were confirmed last night, along with a recall for Shaun Marsh, the 34-year-old about to start his eighth reincarnation as a Test player.

Of course, Paine was not the only surprise selection in the Australian squad, with Shaun Marsh and Cameron Bancroft both named.

Paine appears to have beaten Peter Nevill and state teammate Matthew Wade to the wicketkeeping role, despite having only featured once for Tasmania this season.

"We're only going to be interested in them once we get to Brisbane and think about that first Test and who we're going to play against and how we're going to get their certain players out". "Times up gents", he wrote on Twitter.

Trevor Hohns, Australia's chief selector, said Paine's ability with the bat got him over the line.

But he also hit out at the "unconvincing performances" of rival players, indicating that selectors felt their options were limited.

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Hohns said that Bancroft had demanded his spot through weight of runs in recent weeks.

"Cameron (Bancroft) 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 added. "He is a very talented and tough cricketer who shows a good temperament for Test cricket".

Bancroft comes in for out-of-form opener Matt Renshaw, on the back of his double-century for Western Australia this week, while previously unconsidered 30-year-old South Australia seamer Sayers is likely to be in contention mainly for the pink-ball Test on his home ground in Adelaide.

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.

Marsh's selection was justified by Hohns, who said he was "playing very well at the moment", a comment he could not attribute to dumped opener Renshaw.

"We still view Matthew (Renshaw) as a player of vast talent, but he is out of form at the moment and we don't feel an Ashes Test match is the best place for him to find form", he added.

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