It took some time but finally the Australian selectors made a decision that the majority of cricket fans could agree with; making the last minute decision to bring New South Wales batsmen Kurtis Patterson into the test squad to face Sri Lanka.
It would seem only natural that a batsmen who scored two hundreds (157 not out & 102 not out) against the visitors in a tour match would be called into a team severely lacking depth and form in its batting line-up, but with the Australian selectors you never really know what to expect.
Either way, a young batsmen in form is a welcome inclusion to an Australian squad desperately looking to salvage something from it’s home summer.
Patterson, 25, boasts an average of over 40 in first class cricket in Australia, and has been around the domestic scene since he was an 18 year-old.
Whilst his inclusion may paint him as a bolter into Australia’s test squad, he’s someone who has been on the radar of Australian selectors for quite some time.
The inclusions made for the upcoming test series against Sri Lanka signal a clear incentive from selectors to look to the future, with 3 of the 4 new inclusions to the squad 25 years-old or younger.
With the pending suspensions of former captain Steve Smith and David Warner following the ball tampering scandal, it opens the opportunity for some young players to get some exposure at test level before the side gets its two best players back.
Joe Burns, 29, is the sole player who’s been added that doesn’t fit into this age bracket, but he already has experience at test level along with Matt Renshaw, 25, who’s also featured in test cricket for Australia.
Only one of Burns or Renshaw is expected to play due to both being preferred as openers, with many pundits tipping that Burns will get the nod over Renshaw.
If selected, the other two new additions to the Australian set up in Will Pucovski, 20, and Patterson himself will no doubt find the rise to test cricket challenging, but given Australia’s current predicament, it’s simply worth the risk.
If both of these players were able to find their feet at test level it would be a much needed boost ahead of an Ashes series later this year in England; with the make-up of that team anyone’s guess.