Johannesburg [South Africa], Oct.28 : Uncapped fast bowler Joe Mennie has been named as a surprise inclusion in the 12-man Australian squad for the first two Tests of the three-match series against South Africa, starting on November 3 at the WACA.
Mennie has been preferred over Jackson Bird to form the pace attack alongside Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood and Peter Siddle.
The 27-year-old's inclusion in the Test squad came as a shock after he made a disappointing start to his international career earlier this month against the Proteas, having conceded 82 runs in 10 overs on ODI debut - the worst-ever figures by an Australian cricketer.
Mennie, however, was the leading wicket-taker in domestic Sheffield Shield bowling list last season with 51 wickets.
Reflecting on his inclusion, national selector Rod Marsh said that Mennie's ability to bowl at a great length and his terrific form in first-class cricket in the last 12 months earned him a call in the national squad.
Meanwhile, batsman Shaun Marsh, who has recovered fully from a hamstring strain, has also been included, while Joe Burns was left out for the three-match Test series.
"Both Shaun and Joe played very well in the Sheffield Shield round, but Shaun is coming off back-to-back hundreds in Test matches and has performed very well in Perth and Hobart so we have opted to go with him," Rod Marsh was quoted as saying by Sport24.
The Australian Test squad for first two matches is as follows: David Warner, Shaun Marsh, Usman Khawaja, Steve Smith (captain), Adam Voges, Mitchell Marsh, Peter Nevill, Mitchell Starc, Peter Siddle, John Hazlewood, Joe Mennie, Nathan Lyon.