James Faulkner has been named captain of Australian A sides to face India and South Africa development teams this winter.
Allrounder James Faulkner has been endorsed as a future candidate for Test captaincy after being named skipper of Australia A.
Faulkner will lead the side in two four-day fixtures against India A in Brisbane in July and then another two matches against South Africa A in Townsville in August.
The 24-year-old has impressed in all forms of the game since bursting onto the international scene in Twenty20 cricket back in 2012.
Although last year’s Ashes dead rubber at The Oval in London remains his only Test appearance, Faulkner has shown enough to suggest it may be just a matter of time until he secures a permanent place in the team.
Incoming national selector Rod Marsh said Faulkner had impressed with his tenacity and maturity and his ability to perform under pressure.
“James is a young man with plenty of character and possesses a great desire to win,” said Marsh.
“He is still developing as an all-rounder but we believe this captaincy provides him an opportunity to do that as well as develop his leadership skills.”
Faulkner says he doesn’t yet see himself as a national leader in the making, but is embracing the opportunity handed to him.
“We’ll just take one step at a time,” said Faulkner.
“I want to make sure my game is in good check firstly and we’ll see what happens.
“Any time you get to captain a team it’s a challenge and I’m looking forward to it.”
Faulkner leads an Australia A side against India A which features the likes of Phil Hughes, Alex Doolan, Moises Henriques, Josh Hazlewood, Mitchell Marsh and Ben Cutting.
Against South Africa A, Sheffield Shield leading wicket-taker Steve O’Keefe joins the squad, pending a fitness test on his right shoulder.
In between the four-day fixtures, Australia A will play a series of one-dayers in Darwin and Palmerston, with Cameron White as captain.
Promising fast bowler Pat Cummins will continue his climb back up the ranks from numerous injury setbacks as part of the 50-over team.
The winter matches provide fringe international players with a chance press their claims for Australia’s one-day tour of Zimbabwe in August and the Test team’s trip to the UAE to face Pakistan in October.
Mitchell Starc and Nathan Lyon are on standby for the four-day and one-day Australia A series and may play if it’s thought it might help with their preparation.
Australia A squads
Four-day matches against India XI in Brisbane: James Faulkner (capt), Cameron Boyce, Ben Cutting, Alex Doolan, Peter Forrest, Josh Hazlewood, Moises Henriques, Phillip Hughes, Chris Lynn, Mitchell Marsh, Kane Richardson, Chadd Sayers, Sam Whiteman (wk)
One day matches in Darwin and Palmerston: Cameron White (capt), Cameron Boyce, Pat Cummins, Ben Cutting, Alex Doolan, Callum Ferguson, Josh Hazlewood, Moises Henriques, Phillip Hughes, Chris Lynn, Mitchell Marsh, Clint McKay, Peter Nevill (wk), Kane Richardson
Four-day matches against South Africa XI in Townsville: James Faulkner (capt), Jason Behrendorff (subject to fitness), Tom Cooper, Ben Cutting, Callum Ferguson, Peter Forrest, Josh Hazlewood, Moises Henriques, Phillip Hughes, Chris Lynn, Peter Nevill (wk), Steve O’Keefe (subject to fitness), Chadd Sayers.