Melbourne: A number of Australian Test hopefuls will get the chance to stake their claim for higher honours when they play for the Prime Minister's XI against Sri Lanka on January 30 at Canberra's Manuka Oval.
Cricket Australia Monday announced a strong squad for the match and included in the side are a handful of players who have already tasted international cricket in some form, along with several being touted as future Australia players.
All-rounder Cameron White, who has played 16 one-day internationals and has an Australian contract, will lead the side, with fellow Victorian David Hussey as his deputy.
The latter is the brother of Australian star Mike Hussey and has been in spectacular form in domestic cricket this year, particularly in Twenty20 matches for his state.
Hussey is one of a number of players in the team pushing for national selection, along with contracted Tasmanian fast bowler Ben Hilfenhaus, who has played one-day cricket for Australia, Queensland paceman Ashley Noffke and a trio of young West Australian batsmen in Luke Pomersbach, Shaun Marsh and Luke Ronchi.
Pomersbach was plucked out of the crowd to play in the Twenty20 international against New Zealand at the WACA last month, while the free-hitting Ronchi is tipped as Adam Gilchrist's long-term replacement as Australian wicketkeeper.
Australian chairman of selectors Andrew Hilditch said the team indicated the depth in local cricket.
"This year's side has a good mix of experience and youth to take on what will possibly be a full strength Sri Lankan team," he said here Monday.
"Ben Hilfenhaus, Ashley Noffke and Luke Pomersbach round out the list of players who, along with White, have played at the highest level for Australia and will be hoping to impress again.
"Their selection is well deserved recognition of the outstanding season being enjoyed by Australia's exciting young talent."
The match is part of Sri Lanka's preparation for the subsequent one-day tri-series against Australia and India.
PM XI: Cameron White (Vic, capt), David Hussey (Vic, vice-capt), Doug Bollinger (NSW), Callum Ferguson (SA), Ben Hilfenhaus (Tas), Philip Hughes (NSW), Shaun Marsh (WA), Ashley Noffke (Qld), Luke Pomersbach (WA), Luke Ronchi (WA) and Luke Swards (ACT). Jonathon Dean (ACT, 12th man).