Nathan Lyon named in Australia Test squad for Sri Lanka

Trent Copeland
Copeland is one of four uncapped players in the Test squad

Australia have included four uncapped players in their 15-man squad for the forthcoming Test series in Sri Lanka.

Off-spinner Nathan Lyon, batsman Shaun Marsh, and pacemen Trent Copeland and James Pattinson have been selected.

Leg-spinner Steve Smith and seamers Ben Hilfenhaus and Doug Bollinger miss out as Michael Clarke prepares for his first Test as permanent captain.

Former skipper Ricky Ponting, Shane Watson and Mike Hussey provide the experience for the three-Test series.

The last Test Australia played was the final Ashes Test against England at Sydney in January - and batsman Usman Khawaja and spinner Michael Beer keep their places after making their debuts in that game.

Lyon, 23, is expected to make his international debut, despite playing in only four first-class matches.

He recently impressed for Australia A in Zimbabwe and earned selection ahead of Jason Krejza, who also played on that tour.

Chief selector Andrew Hilditch said: "Nathan may be a surprise selection, but he impressed all who have seen him in the last year and bowled beautifully [in Zimbabwe].

"He is a young man with immense potential and we feel he will take this opportunity should he get the chance to play in Sri Lanka.

"The intention was to take Jason Krejza to Sri Lanka provided he proved he was bowling at his best. Unfortunately Jason did not bowl as well as we, or I am sure he, would have liked in Zimbabwe.

"Michael Beer bowled well on his debut without luck, and it will be an important tour for him on grounds where we expect spin to play a major role.

"Shaun Marsh has been in our minds for some time, and we continue to see Steve Smith as a player of the future in all forms of the game but at this stage we do not feel he has cemented his position as a top six batsman or as a leg-spin bowler.

"Ben Hilfenhaus did not have as good an Ashes series as he would have liked, and Doug Bollinger needs to improve his ability to bowl spells at full intensity and maintain it over the course of a match."

Lyon and Copeland have no full international experience, although Pattinson made his one-day international debut against Bangladesh in April - while Marsh has played in 33 ODIs and three Twenty20 internationals.

The first Test begins in Galle on 31 August and is followed by matches in Kandy from 8 September and Colombo from 16 September.

Australia will play two Twenty20 matches and five one-day internationals - for which the squads had already been announced - before the Test series begins in Galle on 31 August.

Australia Test squad: Michael Clarke (capt), Shane Watson (vice-capt), Michael Beer, Trent Copeland, Brad Haddin (wk), Ryan Harris, Phillip Hughes, Mike Hussey, Mitchell Johnson, Usman Khawaja, Nathan Lyon, Shaun Marsh, James Pattinson, Ricky Ponting, Peter Siddle.

Australia Twenty20 squad: Cameron White (capt), Shane Watson (vice-capt), Aaron Finch, Brad Haddin (wk), John Hastings, David Hussey, Mitchell Johnson, Brett Lee, Shaun Marsh, Steve O'Keefe, James Pattinson, Steve Smith, David Warner.

Australia one-day squad: Michael Clarke (capt), Shane Watson (vice-capt), Doug Bollinger, Xavier Doherty, Brad Haddin (wk), John Hastings, David Hussey, Mike Hussey, Mitchell Johnson, Brett Lee, Shaun Marsh, James Pattinson, Ricky Ponting, Steve Smith.

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