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Ashes series: Jimmy Pierson to join Australia squad as cover for Inglis after first Test

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Author : Indo Asian News Service

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Sydney, May 26 (IANS) Cricket Australia on Friday announced that wicketkeeper-batter Jimmy Peirson would join their Test squad ahead of the second Ashes Test at Lord's next month.

Josh Inglis, the squad's backup gloveman behind first-choice keeper Alex Carey, will travel over for the beginning of the Aussies' UK tour before returning home to Perth for the birth of his first child with partner Megan.

Peirson will replace him in his absence, joining the squad after they have faced India in the World Test Championship at The Oval from June 7-11 and England in the Ashes opener at Edgbaston from June 16-20.

Though the Australian team management says Inglis will rejoin the squad later in the series, this move takes Peirson a step closer to a Baggy Green in case of an injury to rhe regular keeper.

Peirson, who trained with the Test group in Brisbane last week, has impressed at domestic and Australia A levels with his wicketkeeping, batting and his leadership nous.

The 30-year-old is considered one of the country's best pure keepers, while his returns with the bat have dramatically improved in recent times.

The right-hander averaged less than 30 over his first 35 first-class matches but in 30 games since the beginning of the 2020-21 summer, he has averaged 42.56 including six centuries from the lower middle-order.

That included an unbeaten 128no for Australia A on their tour of Sri Lanka last year, spearheading a fourth-innings run chase of 370 in Hambantota.

But, despite also impressing with the Brisbane Heat having most recently led them to an unlikely BBL final berth last summer, international cricket has remained elusive for Peirson, such has been the quality of the keepers ahead of him.

Tim Paine occupied the Test role during the early part of Peirson's first-class purple patch, while Alex Carey graduated from the ODI job to replace him when he finished.

Inglis' dynamism has made him the favoured candidate to take the T20 job from Matthew Wade, while the Western Australian has also become Carey's understudy in the Test and ODI teams.

"There's one 'keeper in every side so you know who's doing your job, and you know who's going for the same job as you, so you're aware of how they're going," Peirson told cricket.com.au in 2021.

"It's great to have that competition. That's what drives you to be the best you can be.

"If someone's pipping you, you want to be better than them. That's certainly one of my great driving factors: I want to be the best, I want to be the next man in.

"These guys are setting their benchmark, and I want to set my benchmark higher, and maybe bring a few other attributes into that as well, through leadership or whatever else."

The second Test will be played at Lord's from June 28 to July 2; the third at Headingley from July 6 to July 10; the fourth at Old Trafford from July 19-23 and the fifth and final Test will be played from July 27 to 31.

--IANS

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