Australia's selectors were under pressure to make changes following a historic 2-1 series defeat to India - and they acted.

The squad for the upcoming series against Sri Lanka was named today and there are some significant changes.

Twenty-year-old Victorian batsman Will Pucovski is in line for a shock international debut after winning a call-up. The young gun rocketed into baggy green contention when he plundered 243 against Western Australia in October β€” his second first-class ton β€” but then took six weeks off from cricket for mental health reasons.

Will Pucovski has scored a first-class double century at the age of 20. Photo / Getty
Will Pucovski has scored a first-class double century at the age of 20. Photo / Getty

He returned for one last Sheffield Shield game before Christmas where he compiled a second-innings 67.


After making his first-class debut in 2017 the classy right-hander has scored 588 runs in eight matches at an average of 49.

Joe Burns has also won a recall for the two-test series.

Burns β€” who played the last of his 14 tests in Johannesburg this year when he was parachuted into the team after the ball-tampering scandal β€” is averaging above 47 in the Sheffield Shield this season on the back of a strong 2017-18 campaign.

He already has three test tons to his name and calls grew louder for him to be given another chance opening the batting when the experiment of throwing Aaron Finch at the top of the order failed.

There was speculation Matthew Renshaw was in the mix for a return to the national side and that rumour was on the money.

After losing his place ahead of last summer's Ashes, the Queenslander was left out of both tests against Pakistan in the UAE earlier this year but despite his modest form in the whites for his state this season, the left-hander has been given a lifeline.

Renshaw has one century and three fifties in 11 tests.

It's unlikely both Renshaw and Burns will open together against Sri Lanka because although he failed to reach triple figures, test newcomer Marcus Harris impressed against India and has been retained.

Shaun and Mitchell Marsh have both been dropped for the tests against Sri Lanka. Photo / Getty
Shaun and Mitchell Marsh have both been dropped for the tests against Sri Lanka. Photo / Getty

Both Marsh brothers β€” Mitch and Shaun β€” have been overlooked.

Mitch played just one test against India at the MCG and while he provided good support with the ball, he managed scores of nine and 10 in his two innings.

Shaun's only half-century of the series came in Adelaide and he has reached 50 just once in his past 10 tests.

But after being exiled from this latest squad, it may be an indication selectors are ready to dump the 35-year-old for good.

Finch has also missed out on selection.

After the 2-1 loss to India, chairman of selectors Trevor Hohns, head coach Justin Langer and fellow selector Greg Chappell faced a series of big calls as they mull how to fix Australia's misfiring top six.

Travis Head and Marnus Labuschagne kept their places but Peter Handscomb wasn't so fortunate.

The middle-order batsman was dropped for the Boxing Day test but brought back in for the final match against India, only to be dumped again for the Sri Lanka series.

He was unable to quash question marks over his technique when he failed to capitalise on his start at the SCG, bowled for 37.

Matthew Wade headlined the in-form batting options that selectors were considering promoting from the state ranks but he missed out on a spot.

Peter Siddle never made the final XI against India but has again been included in the 13-man Sri Lanka squad.

Tim Paine is captain and Josh Hazlewood is his deputy.

Desperate to help players spend some time in the middle and produce bigger scores, selectors have included some batsmen in the test squad in the Cricket Australia (CA) XI that will face Sri Lanka in a tour match.

Burns will captain the CA XI and Labuschagne, Renshaw and Pucovski will also play in the clash.

Highly-rated NSW batsman Kurtis Patterson has been drafted into the CA XI, as has NSW young gun Jason Sangha.

Such selections would buck recent tradition around the world.

CA and other home boards have generally proffered inexperienced teams for tour games, in the process ensuring the visitors' tune-up is the antithesis of test cricket.

Australia just went through a four-test series at home without a centurion for the first time in history but the major reason for the floated shake-up is likely to be the fact the Sheffield Shield is currently on hold for the BBL.

The tour game, which will be played with a pink ball ahead of the Gabba day-night test, will also help ensure some members of Australia's XI have recent pink-ball match experience.

Australia is desperate to avoid its first test loss to Sri Lanka at home, an unbeaten 13-match streak that started in 1988.

But there is also a bigger picture at play.

Selectors are already mulling what Australia's top order will look like in England later this year, with Steve Smith and David Warner both fully expected to be part of their third Ashes tour.

Test squad: Tim Paine (c), Josh Hazlewood (vc), Joe Burns, Pat Cummins, Marcus Harris, Travis Head, Usman Khawaja, Marnus Labuschagne, Nathan Lyon, Will Pucovski, Matt Renshaw, Mitchell Starc, Peter Siddle