In exciting news for South Australian cricket, vice-captain Alex Carey and opening batsman Henry Hunt have also been selected in an extended squad from which an Australia A team will be selected for a tour match against the English Lions.

All players will also have an internal match opportunity at Redlands Cricket Club from December 1-3 as part of their final preparation.

Last year’s Neil Dansie Medallist, Head put together a truly remarkable 2020/21 season, amassing 893 runs at an average of 68.69, including a double-hundred, two centuries and three half-centuries. The explosive left-hander currently sits ninth for most runs scored in the longer format this season, with an average of 47.50 and a century a half-century to his name.

In one of the most damaging performances in recent memory, Head also plundered 230 from 127 balls in a Marsh One-Day Cup game against Queensland, an innings highlighted by 28 fours and a stunning eight sixes.

Henry Hunt has been a brilliantly consistent performer at the top of the order for South Australia, compiling 628 runs last season at an average of 44.85, with two centuries and three half centuries. To date this summer, the right-hander’s solid defence combined with an expansive shot selection has produced 340 runs at an average of 56.66, placing his third on the list of run-scorers in the Shield.

Hunt’s fifth career ton came last week in Tasmania on a surface that he was one of the few to successfully negotiate. The final wicket to fall in the innings, Hunt scored 134 from 236 deliveries in difficult conditions, by far the highest total of the rain-affected match.

Vice-captain Alex Carey continues his time within the national set-up following a stint as limited overs captain earlier this year. Possessing a clinical technique and a beautiful array of shots, Carey is one of the premier wicketkeeper batters in the country, with no ceiling to how high he can climb within the game.

George Bailey, NSP Chair, said on the squad for the first two Test matches: “After an extended break between Test matches we are looking to build a strong squad mentality across what is an incredibly exciting summer of cricket.

“This group is well balanced to ensure we are prepared for the many challenges of an Ashes Series. It has a mix of experienced, proven performers and emerging, developing talent.

“We will take this 15-player squad into the opening Test in Brisbane and the pink ball match in Adelaide, after which we can reassess for the remaining matches.

“Travis finished last summer strongly, second only to Cameron Green for runs scored, and has again started the season well. He drives the game forward and can put the opposition under pressure with his ability to score quickly.”

Australia:

Tim Paine (TAS) (c)
Pat Cummins (NSW) (vc)
Cameron Green (WA)
Marcus Harris (VIC)
Josh Hazlewood (NSW)
Travis Head (SA)
Usman Khawaja (QLD)
Marnus Labuschagne (QLD)
Nathan Lyon (NSW)
Michael Neser (QLD)
Jhye Richardson (WA)
Steve Smith (NSW)
Mitchell Starc (NSW)
Mitchell Swepson (QLD)
David Warner (NSW)

Additional Australia A players:

Sean Abbott (NSW)
Ashton Agar (WA)
Scott Boland (VIC)
Alex Carey (SA)
Henry Hunt (SA)
Josh Inglis (WA)
Nic Maddinson (VIC)
Mitchell Marsh (WA)
Matt Renshaw (QLD)
Mark Steketee (QLD)
Bryce Street (QLD)