Australian all-rounder Hilton Cartwright is all set make his debut in the third and the final dead-rubber Test of the three-match series against Pakistan beginning Tuesday at the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG).
The 24-year-old will come in to bat at No.6 and will become Australia’s 450th Test cricketer at the time of his debut.
Despite Cartwright averaging only 44.50 as a first-class batsman and has only 15 wickets from 16 matches, skipper Steven Smith believes the all-rounder’s bowling has improved significantly and that he has gained a lot more consistency.
“I think he’s improved a lot over the last year or so. I remember facing him a little while ago and I think since then he’s probably gained 10ks and got a lot more consistent with his areas. I think he’s improved a lot. I guess it depends how much we’ll use him, how the game goes. But he’s certainly improved over the last year,” ESPNcricinfo quoted Smith as saying.
Cartwright’s inclusion was one of the two changes made to the Australia XI that won the second Test in Melbourne, with left-arm spinner Steve O’Keefe being selected as a second spinner alongside Nathan Lyon.
O’Keefe, who will play the fourth Test of his career, will replace fast bowler Jackson Bird. He will head into the final match hoping to impress the national selectors ahead of Australia’s tour to India next month.
Besides Bird, spinner Ashton Agar has also been left out of the squad, and Smith insisted that changes have been done in the squad keeping in mind the upcoming conditions.
“I thought he bowled particularly well in Melbourne.But conditions sometimes change the team. We’ve gone with two spinners on this occasion, and it’s unlucky for Jackson. I thought he did bowl very well last week. He continues to improve,” he added.
Earlier, Australia have clinched the three-match series against Pakistan 2-0 following their massive win by an innings and 18 runs in the second Test in Melboune. Smith’s side won the opening match by 39 runs in Brisbane.