This is the right time to pick Aaron Finch for Tests: Trevor Hohns
Aaron Finch's T20 form for Surrey has helped him break into Australia's Test squad. @Getty

Trevor Hohns, one third of the Cricket Australia (CA) selection panel that Tuesday named A rejigged Australia Test squad for the October tour of the UAE to play Pakistan, has explained the reasoning behind naming the uncapped Aaron Finch and recalling Peter Siddle nearly two years since he last played international cricket.

Finch, 31, was named for the first time in a Test squad on the back of a tremendous run of white-ball form in 2018.  In 17 international matches this year, Finch has scored 900 runs at an average of 69.23 and strike-rate of 132.15 and most recently slammed 589 runs in nine innings at a strike-rate of 182.35, with two centuries and three fifties, while playing T20s for Surrey in England.

Siddle, 33, last played a Test in November 2016 but his form for Essex this summer, where he recently took his 500th first-class wicket, has been valued by Hohns, Greg Chappell and head coach Justin Langer.

“Aaron is in sensational form, and this is the right time to give him a chance to play Test cricket,” Hohns said in a CA statement. “He has performed well in the Sheffield Shield in recent seasons, and brings added experience and leadership to this group.

“Peter is a proven performer in the Test arena, who has been in outstanding form in his recent first-class outings over in England. His experience will be crucial for this bowling group, and we know that he is a warrior who can bowl the type of long, tight spells which may be required in the conditions we expect to face.”

Peter Siddle Essex
Peter Siddle entered the 500-club while playing for Essex. @Getty

With batsmen Steve Smith, David Warner and Cameron Bancroft serving suspensions and fast bowlers Pat Cummins and Josh Hazlewood injured, Australia’s 15-member Test squad for the UAE trip includes four additional uncapped players in limited-overs specialist Travis Head and the Queensland trio of pace bowlers Michael Neser and Brendan Doggett and batsman Marnus Labuschagne. Each of these players is currently with Australia A in India.

Neser, 28, made his ODI debut in England this summer after a successful Sheffield Shield season for Queensland in which he took 39 wickets at 21.84 and scored 294 runs at 22.61.

“Michael is a strong all-round cricketer – he bowls and bats well, and is a mature player coming off a fantastic Sheffield Shield season for Queensland,” Hohns said. “He has impressed us with his performances for Australia A and in his white-ball opportunities for Australia.”

Doggett, 24, has played only eight first-class matches but the selectors clearly value the pace he offers. “Brendan is an exciting prospect, a fast bowler with raw pace and wicket-taking ability. He provides an additional option to Mitchell Starc if extra pace is called for, and this is an ideal opportunity to get him involved in a national set-up for the first time after his recent showings for Queensland and Australia A,” said Hohns.

Those to be dropped from Australia’s last Test squad in South Africa are Glenn Maxwell, Joe Burns, Peter Hanscomb, Chad Sayers and Jhye Richardson.

Speaking on their axing, Hohns said: “Joe, Peter and Glenn were players we discussed when selecting the batting group, but we had to take into account the conditions and competition we are set to face in the upcoming series. All three remain on our radar for Test cricket, but we want them to perform for their states and continue to push their case ahead of what is going to be a big Australian summer.”

“Jhye is a player who has a bright future in all formats, and has been impressive in his international opportunities to date. He is one of a number of developing bowlers adding to the depth of our fast bowling group, and we see him potentially having an important role to play in the shorter formats of the game in the immediate future.”