Teenage quick Patrick Cummins could become Australia's youngest Test player in nearly 60 years after being called up Monday for their two-Test series in South Africa.
The explosive 18-year-old has played just three first-class matches for New South Wales, taking nine wickets, but has impressed for Australia against South Africa in the current Twenty20 series.
He replaces James Pattinson in the only change to the squad that defeated Sri Lanka 1-0 in their three-Test battle last month and if he makes his debut will become the youngest Australian to play a Test since Ian Craig in 1952/53.
Craig was 17 years and 293 days on debut, with Cummins to be 18 years and 185 days when the Test series against South Africa starts.
The next youngest was Tom Garrett, who was 18 years and 232 days when he played in Australia's first Test match in 1877.
"Patrick is a very exciting prospect and at just 18 years of age is already showing the ability to have a significant impact at international level," said chairman of selectors Andrew Hilditch.
"Patrick would have most likely been on the tour of Sri Lanka if not for injury at the end of last season.
"Now he's back fit and bowling well, we saw this as the right time to bring him into the Test squad for this important series."
Asked if Cummins was the next superstar of Australian cricket, Hilditch told reporters: "We're hoping so."
"We have got to be careful, we are building it up in the sense that he's 18 and he's in the Test squad for Australia, so it's a massive thing.
"But we don't want to put too high expectations on him."
Australia play two Tests in South Africa, the first on November 9 in Cape Town and the second in Johannesburg from November 17.
"The squad has a very good balance of experience and exciting young talent," said Hilditch, adding that flexibility was a key factor in the 15-man group.
"We face back-to-back Tests in South Africa ahead of another six Tests in Australia, so managing our fast bowlers through this tough schedule will be extremely important," he said.
"The Tests will be played at the start of the South African summer in Cape Town and Johannesburg and we think the conditions will be quite different at both venues.
"This squad gives us the flexibility to adapt to all conditions and we think gives us the right balance to maximise our chances of winning the series."
The explosive Cummins took 2-27 off four overs in Australia's second Twenty20 international against South Africa on Sunday, opening the bowling and taking two for three in a two-over burst.
For Hilditch, Monday's announcement is likely his last as chairman of selectors with Cricket Australia set to appoint a full-time selection chairman and new panel as part of a review earlier this year.
"I've been really lucky to have my job for as long as I have," he said.
"It's my passion. It's not what I do for a living, I do it because I love it."
Squad: Michael Clarke (capt), Shane Watson (vice-capt), Michael Beer, Trent Copeland, Patrick Cummins, Brad Haddin, Ryan Harris, Phil Hughes, Mike Hussey, Mitchell Johnson, Usman Khawaja, Nathan Lyon, Shaun Marsh, Ricky Ponting, Peter Siddle
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