Ashes 2015: Australia announce squad to tour England

Fawad Ahmed
National selector Rod Marsh said Pakistan-born Ahmed had a "sensational season at domestic level"

Middlesex captain Adam Voges and Pakistan-born spinner Fawad Ahmed have been included in Australia's 17-man Test squad to play England this summer.

Fawad, 33, is selected as the second spinner ahead of Ashton Agar, who broke the record for the highest score by a Test number 11 against England in 2013.

Voges, 35, was voted the Sheffield Shield Player of the Year, having made 1,358 runs at an average of 104.46.

The first of five Ashes Tests begins in Cardiff on Wednesday, 8 July.

Prior to that, Australia will play a two-match series against West Indies, beginning on 5 June.

Australia celebrate winning World Cup
Australia were crowned one-day world champions for a fifth time after beating New Zealand

"Adam Voges and Fawad Ahmed had sensational seasons at domestic level and their performances just couldn't be ignored," said national selector Rod Marsh.external-link

"We believe that both can play important roles in the side if required."

Fawad claimed asylum in Australia in 2010 and his citizenship application was fast-tracked three years later.

He has played in three one-day internationals and two Twenty20 matches for Australia, but is yet to make his Test debut.

Test Match Special's Jim Maxwell
"Voges and Ahmed deserve their selection based on what they have done in the season just gone. Voges scored a mountain of runs and Ahmed took 48 wickets, including an eight-wicket haul in the Sheffield Shield final. I would have thought they might have stuck with Ashton Agar as the finger spinner but they clearly feel that Ahmed's numbers deserve some recognition. I would think Glenn Maxwell will force his way in to bat at six or seven but at the moment there isn't the opportunity. What Australia have come up with is very impressive."

Michael Clarke will captain the Test side having led Australia to their fifth World Cup title with victory over New Zealand in his final one-day international on Sunday.

Bowler Ryan Harris will not travel to the West Indies as his wife is pregnant with their first child, but has been included in the Ashes squad.

Australia squad in full: Michael Clarke (capt), Steve Smith (vice-capt), Fawad Ahmed, Brad Haddin (wk), Josh Hazlewood, Ryan Harris, Mitchell Johnson, Nathan Lyon, Mitchell Marsh, Shaun Marsh, Peter Nevill (wk), Chris Rogers, Peter Siddle, Mitchell Starc, Adam Voges, David Warner, Shane Watson.

Ashes Tests
First Test: Cardiff - 8-12 July
Second Test: Lord's - 16-20 July
Third Test: Edgbaston - 29 July - 2 August
Fourth Test: Trent Bridge - 6-10 August
Fifth Test: The Oval - 20-24 August

Will England 'get bombed'?

Mitchell Starc celebrates
Mitchell Starc will be a key component in Australia's bowling attack

England lost their last Test series against Australia 5-0 in January 2014, in what was just the third whitewash in Ashes history.

Former England batsman Geoffrey Boycott, summarising for Test Match Special, described the tourists' performance down under as "pathetic" and a "humiliation".

Speaking on The Tuffers and Vaughan Cricket Show on BBC Radio 5 live, ex-England bowler Phil Tufnell said he did not expect England to gain revenge this summer.

"We are going to get bombed, it's as simple as that," he said. "Confidence within the Australia camp will be sky-high, and they will come over here looking to batter us.

"England will just be hoping to play on slow, grubby pitches, so that their bowlers can't knock our heads off. They have got to man up a bit, because they know what is going to come at them."

BBC cricket correspondent Jonathan Agnew struck a similar tone, saying Australia's World Cup victory would have "an Englishman quaking in his boots when thinking about what might happen in the Ashes".

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