Hilton Cartwright joins Australia squad for Boxing Day Test against Pakistan

By @saihoops on
Australia cricket
Australia Nets - County Ground, Northampton - 13/8/15 Australia's Steve Smith and Head Coach Darren Lehmann during nets Reuters / Paul Childs Livepic

Hilton Cartwright, the young all-rounder from Western Australia, has been called up to Australia's 13-man squad for the forthcoming Boxing Day Test at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) against Pakistan.

Cartwright edged out fellow pace-bowling all-rounder Mitchell Marsh, who lost his place in the team after the team's 177-run defeat against South Africa at Perth in the first week of Nov.

Interim selector Greg Chappell, in particular, has been lavishing praise on Cartwright and rewarded the youngster with a spot during the three-match ODI series against New Zealand earlier this month. Even though Cartwright didn't get to play a game, the Zimbabwean-born player moved closer to an international debut. Cartwright has been Chappell's pet project since the Matador Cup a few years back when the legendary batsman was overseeing the developmental Cricket Australia XI. 

Trevor Hohns, the interim chairman of selectors, stressed on the importance of an all-rounder in the playing XI and said the team needed to find a long term solution at the No. 6 spot. 

"(We need) a batting allrounder, 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," said Hohns, via ESPNCricinfo

Hilton Cartwright over Nic Maddinson?

The decision to include Cartwright could signal the axe of Nic Maddinson, who has scores of 0,1 and 4 in his last three Test innings at the Adelaide Oval and the Gabba. Maddison is still a part of the 13-man squad.

Meanwhile, Australia coach Darren Lehmann hinted that Cartwright was due for a Test debut. "We've had two pink-ball Test matches, so red-ball Test coming up and we know he's a fine player. He's just got to believe at this level. I actually thought he did a really good team thing the other day (in the second innings)," Lehmann said on Monday when the team would go with Cartwright over Maddinson for the MCG Test.

Australia won the first Test of three-match series against Pakistan by a margin of 39 runs. After the Boxing Day Test in Melbourne, the teams will move to Sydney for the annual New Year Test match.