Australian batsman Peter Handscomb celebrates his maiden Test century.
Australian batsman Peter Handscomb celebrates his maiden Test century. DAN PELED

Cartwright called into squad for Boxing Day Test

CRICKET: Western Australia all-rounder Hilton Cartwright has been called into the squad for the Boxing Day Test against Pakistan at the MCG.

Interim selector Trevor Hohns said the 24-year-old was called in to provide cover for Australia's bowlers after they were forced to get through a mountain of work in the 39-run win in the first Test.

Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazlewood each bowled 56 overs at the Gabba.

"The bowlers got through a high workload in Brisbane and although everyone has pulled up okay, on reflection we wanted to give ourselves the option of including an all-rounder in Melbourne to ease that workload somewhat,” he said.

"To do that we wanted a batting all-rounder, someone to bowl seam-up and capable of batting in the top six as well, and after considering several names we came to the conclusion that Hilton fits that bill.

"We have seen plenty of him, he has performed well this season and we believe that if called upon he will do an excellent job.”

Cartwright has taken 14 wickets at an average of 42.50 in 14 Sheffield Shield matches for the Warriors.

So far this season he has averaged 36.67 with the bat in his five games, including three half-centuries.

The squad is due to assemble in Melbourne on Thursday.

Meanwhile, Australian batsman Peter Handscomb says there will be no Boxing Day Test wobbles, despite claims from former Pakistani great Waqar Younis the tourists' recovery in Brisbane put fear into the home team.

The Victorian will make his debut at the MCG full of confidence following his maiden Test century at the Gabba and said the Aussies also believed they could beat Pakistan in the traditional Test.

Handscomb said he could not wait to play in front of his home crowd after experiencing the Melbourne atmosphere as a fan.

"Obviously it means a lot - I have been to the Boxing Day Test before, but obviously not in this capacity,” he said.

"I've seen guys walk out, I've heard the cheer before, I've been part of that cheer.

"So it's going to be great to be there, walking out and hopefully just embracing the moment that's going to come.”

Handscomb laughed off Waqar's talk of fear in the home camp, pointing to the turnaround since losing the first two Tests of the Australian summer to South Africa and the 1-0 lead in this series.

"We're coming in hot, with a lot of confidence,” Handscomb said.

"I wouldn't say there's any fear in our minds at all - we're going out looking to win and we're confident we're going to do it.”

Former English skipper Michael Vaughan was one of a number former players to question Steve Smith's tactics as the tourists closed in on an unlikely win on the fifth day at the Gabba.

Vaughan took to social media, saying on Twitter: "The Australian Captains tactics this morning has been nothing short of Ridiculous (sic).”

Handscomb defended his captain, saying: "I did not even know that he'd tweeted that and to be perfectly clear, I don't know what he's talking about.

"We were pretty much trying to hit the top of off (stump), with the odd bouncer ... stock-standard kind of tactics.

"We're pretty happy, because we've come away with the win and we're going into Boxing Day 1-0, so it's pretty awesome.”


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