James Faulkner is set to make his Test debut at the Oval tomorrow, as he replaces Usman Khawaja in the Australia squad for the fifth and final Ashes Test.
The Tasmanian all-rounder will bat at number seven, with Shane Watson replacing Khawaja at number three and wicketkeeper Brad Haddin moving up a spot to number six.
On Saturday, both Faulkner and Khawaja featured in Australia's clash against Northampton Lions, the Aussies' last tour match before the fifth Test. But while the former was 29 not out as bad light stopped play, the latter managed only four runs before being caught off the bowling of Ben Stokes.
Khawaja, who was moved down the order to number six against the Lions, is Australia's highest-profile casualty ahead of Wednesday's Test as the Pakistan-born batsman failed to convince Darren Lehmann and the Australian selectors that he was the cure Australia needed for their top-order problems.
Having replaced Ed Cowan after the first Test, Khawaja notched his highest score of the series in his first knock of the second Test at Lord's, with the Queensland batsman going on to score 54 runs.
Unfortunately for Australia, Khawaja failed to build on his rather promising start and went on to score 14, one, 24, nought and 21 in his next five innings for a rather meagre series average of 19 and has subsequently been excluded from Australia's line-up for the Oval Test.
His spot in the team will be taken by Tasmania all-rounder Faulkner, arguably one of the most exciting prospects Australian cricket has produced in recent years.
Despite being only 23, Faulkner has already made his T20 and ODI debuts for Australia, with a high score of 54* and career best figures of 4/48 in the one-day format of the game. In his three T20 internationals, meanwhile, he has never managed to score more than seven runs.
Faulkner, who represented the Australian U19 team at the 2008 ICC Under 19 Cricket World Cup and was also voted man the match in the 2012–13 Sheffield Shield final as Tasmania secure its third title, averages 29.11 runs per game in first class cricket, with a high score of 89.
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