Pat Cummins to make his Test debut against South Africa

The 18-year-old could become the second youngest Australian Test cricketer if he debuts in the first Test in Cape Town starting November 9th Getty Images

Melbourne: Oct 17, 2011

Teenage fast bowler Patrick Cummins was Monday called up for Australia’s two-Test series in South Africa, with chairman of selectors Andrew Hilditch describing him as “a very exciting prospect”.

Cummins, 18, has played just three first-class matches for New South Wales, taking nine wickets, but has impressed for Australia against South Africa in the current Twenty20 series.

He replaces James Pattinson in the only change to the squad that defeated Sri Lanka 1-0 in the three-Test battle last month.

“Patrick is a very exciting prospect and at just 18 years of age is already showing the ability to have a significant impact at international level,” said Hilditch.

“Patrick would have most likely been on the tour of Sri Lanka if not for injury at the end of last season.

“Now he’s back fit and bowling well, we saw this as the right time to bring him into the Test squad for this important series.”

Australia play two Tests in South Africa, the first on November 9 in Cape Town and the second in Johannesburg from November 17.

“The squad has a very good balance of experience and exciting young talent,” said Hilditch, adding that flexibility was a key factor in the 15-man group.

“We face back-to-back Tests in South Africa ahead of another six Tests in Australia, so managing our fast bowlers through this tough schedule will be extremely important,” he said.

“The Tests will be played at the start of the South African summer in Cape Town and Johannesburg and we think the conditions will be quite different at both venues.

“This squad gives us the flexibility to adapt to all conditions and we think gives us the right balance to maximise our chances of winning the series.”

The squad:

Michael Clarke (captain), Shane Watson (vice captain), Michael Beer, Trent Copel, Patrick Cummins, Brad Haddin, Ryan Harris, Phil Hughes, Mike Hussey, Mitchell Johnson, Usman Khawaja, Nathan Lyon, Shaun Marsh, Ricky Ponting, Peter Siddle.

1st ODI: October 19, Centurion

2nd ODI: OCtober 23, Port Elizabeth

3rd ODI: October 28, Durban

Tour match: November 1-4, Potchefstroom (v South Africa A)

1st Test: November 9-13, Cape Town

2nd Test: November 17-21, Johannesburg (AFP)