MELBOURNE, Australia, CMC – Leg-spinner Fawad Ahmed and batsman Adam Voges demanded their spots on the tour of the West Indies through their excellent form, chief selector Rod Marsh has said.
Ahmed, 33, and Voges, 35, along with wicketkeeper Peter Nevill were the uncapped players named in a 16-man squad to tour the Caribbean for the two-Test series in June.
Should Voges make his debut, he will become the second oldest Test debutant in Australia history, but Marsh said it was hard for selectors to ignore the right-hander’s heavy run-scoring in the first class championship.
“He had a magnificent shield season, there’s absolutely no doubt about that. I looked at him on about four or five occasions – maybe more – this year and I thought ‘I don’t know how anyone is going to get this bloke out’ – he was that dominant,” Marsh said on Tuesday.
“It wasn’t only the fact he made 1300-odd runs. It was the way he made them. It was as good Sheffield Shield batting as I’ve ever seen – and I’ve seen some good stuff.”
The Western Australia skipper, Voges hit 1358 runs at an average of 104.46.
Ahmed, meanwhile, also prospered for Victoria, taking 48 wickets at an average of 24.79. In the first class final, he grabbed a record eight for 89.
A Pakistani who sought political asylum in Australia in 2010 and was granted citizenship two years later, Ahmed also had a massive impact on Marsh.
“Him being a leg-spinner, a wrist-spinner as opposed to a finger-spinner, probably also gave him a slight advantage because, believe it or not, Australia is always looking for leg-spinners. We’ve had a proud history of leg-spinning in this country and we want that to continue,” he said.
“He doesn’t bowl too much rubbish, and he creates a lot of pressure. He’s able to have men around the bat in most instances, and he keeps on asking the batsmen questions. That’s what good spinners do.”
SQUAD – Michael Clarke (captain), Steve Smith, Fawad Ahmed, Brad Haddin, Ryan Harris, Josh Hazlewood, Mitch Johnson, Nathan Lyon, Mitch Marsh, Shaun Marsh, Peter Nevill, Chris Rogers, Peter Siddle, Mitch Starc, Adam Voges, David Warner, Shane Watson.