SYDNEY: All-rounder Hilton Cartwright will make his Test debut among two changes in the Australia team for this week´s final Test against Pakistan in Sydney, captain Steve Smith said Monday.
Zimbabwe-born Cartwright and left-arm spinner Steve O´Keefe replace Nic Maddinson and Jackson Bird in the team that demolished Pakistan by an innings in Melbourne last week to clinch the three-match series.
“Cartwright is an extra bowling option to go with the two quicks and the two spinners,” Smith told reporters.
“It just adds a little bit to the bowling stocks, and he deserves an opportunity to play at number six.”
The 24-year-old Cartwright is a batting all-rounder who bowls medium pace and will support front-line fast bowlers Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazlewood.
“He´s improved (his bowling) a lot over the last year or so. He´s gained 10 kph,” Smith said of Cartwright.
The need for a second spinner in Sydney had been flagged by selectors, with O´Keefe getting the final nod over Ashton Agar.
“We´re playing the two spinners, traditionally out here it does take some spin,” Smith said.
O´Keefe will partner veteran spinner Nathan Lyon, who cemented his place in the team with a crucial three-wicket spell on the final day of the Melbourne Test.
O´Keefe has played three Tests, including in Sydney against the West Indies last season, and partnered Lyon in the first Test in Sri Lanka in July before injury ruled him out for the remainder of the series.