Batsman Cameron Bancroft has been left out of Australia’s Test squad for the looming three-Test series against New Zealand.
Bancroft’s omission is the sole change to the 14-man squad that beat Pakistan 2-0, with pacemen James Pattinson and Michael Neser retained in a 13-strong squad to host the Kiwis.
Australia host New Zealand in Perth from December 12 with the other Tests to be played in Melbourne from Boxing Day and Sydney from January 3.
Quicks Pattinson and Neser appear unlikely to force their way into day-night Test in Perth given the strong form of the incumbent trio of pacemen.
Fast bowlers Mitchell Starc (14 wickets), Josh Halzewood (10) and Pat Cummins (eight) were were leading wicket-takers in the Pakistan series.
Pattinson is available for Test selection again after being ruled out because of suspension.
Bancroft’s omission means Travis Head, who remains joint vice-captain with Cummins, is certain to retain his spot in the batting line-up for the first Test against the Black Caps.
“We have cut the squad from 14 to 13, we’re very comfortable of course with our batting line-up at the moment, they are functioning quite well,” chairman of selectors Trevor Hohns told reporters in Adelaide on Tuesday.
“So we don’t see it necessary to have a batsman as cover in the squad at the moment.
“Of course we do reserve the right to add a player if necessary throughout this series.”
Hohns and his co-selectors met on Monday night to pick the squad, hours after Australia completed a series sweep against Pakistan.
The Australians won both Test matches by an innings and Hohns admitted the selection meeting for the New Zealand series was straightforward.
“It’s nice to have a couple of very, very good wins, it (selection) has been quite relaxing, to be honest,” he said.
Hohns said there was no concern over captain Tim Paine, who copped a series of blows on his fingers while wicketkeeping against Pakistan, or Starc, who was nursing a cut big toe.
Australia squad: Tim Paine (capt), Joe Burns, Pat Cummins, Josh Hazelwood, Travis Head, Marnus Labuschagne, Nathan Lyon, Michael Neser, James Pattinson, Steven Smith, Mitchell Starc, Matthew Wade, David Warner.