Young batsmen Phil Hughes and Steve Smith will replace veterans Simon Katich and Marcus North after being named in Australia’s 12-man squad for the third Ashes Test in Perth, which begins on Thursday.

Hughes, 22, played seven Tests before being dropped during last year’s Ashes, while Smith, 21, played two Tests against Pakistan earlier this year. Hughes will open the batting as a replacement for the injured Simon Katich while Smith, considered a batting all-rounder, will come in at six or seven. Smith has been in useful form with the ball for NSW, taking 8-169 against South Australia this week and his leg-spin will form part of a revamped bowling attack, with Mitchell Johnson and Ben Hilfenhaus recalled to the squad, alongside Peter Siddle and Ryan Harris.

Waugh calls for selectors to create stability

The selectors, however, sprang one more surprise, with virtually unknown spinner Michael Beer also picked in the squad, despite having played only five first-class matches for WA.

“The reality is, he’s got no international experience and it’s a big
call from us to throw him into this position,” Australian chairman of
selectors Andrew Hilditch said.

“But everything we get back is (he is) someone who is going to handle that pressure, which is critical.”

denied Beer’s selection, the biggest stunner since Peter Taylor was
given a baggy green cap against England in 1986-87, was desperate.

think a left-arm orthodox spinner is the right thing both for the Ashes
but also for our future,” Hilditch said, adding Beer would play in the
third Test.

“Michael Beer has, I suppose, come from nowhere.

he has had a good start to the domestic season, someone we were very
interested in even before the season started with some really good
feedback from our talent management system and people in WA.”