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Pat Cummins announces playing XI for first Test against West Indies
Perth: Australia skipper Pat Cummins has confirmed the make-up of the XI that will take the field for his side in the first Test against the West Indies in Perth.
The final XI for Australia's first home Test of the summer contains no major surprises, with Cummins confirming one change from the team that played in the most recent Test match in Sri Lanka. Spinner Mitchell Swepson replaces experienced seamer Josh Hazlewood, who was dropped after Australia's humiliating loss to Sri Lanka in Galle in July.
Swepson took 3/103 in that match, but the 29-year-old was not selected for the West Indies series as Australia reverted to their standard line-up of three seamers and one spinner.
Veteran openers David Warner and Usman Khawaja remain at the top of Australia's batting order, with left-hander Marcus Harris missing out despite being called up for the series.
The series against the West Indies is critical for Australia's chances of reaching the World Test Championship final next year, with Cummins' side currently leading the standings ahead of a busy upcoming schedule.
Following the West Indies series, Australia will host South Africa for three Tests before embarking on a four-Test series in India that could decide their World Test Championship fortunes.
Australia will play their first match of the series against West Indies on December 4 at the Perth Stadium while the second and final match of the two-match series will take place on December 8-12 at the Adelaide Oval.
Australia currently claimed second place on the ICC World Test Championship standings and the West Indies series is the first of three to ultimately determine their fate.
Australia XI to play West Indies: David Warner, Usman Khawaja, Marnus Labuschagne, Steve Smith, Travis Head, Cameron Green, Alex Carey, Pat Cummins (c), Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood, Nathan Lyon. (ANI)