Blues paceman Sean Abbott on verge of call-up to Test squad

New South Wales Blues paceman Sean Abbott could be on the verge of a shock call-up to Australia’s Test squad after another impressive performance in the Sheffield Shield.

Abbott claimed 2/12 off 13 overs against Tasmania at Gladys Elphick Park on Sunday, helping restrict the Tigers to 4/149 at the end of day one.

After removing Tigers skipper Matthew Wade for 10, Abbott found the outside edge of Ben McDermott’s bat, the young gun making his way back to the pavilion for 18.

The 28-year-old is currently the Blues’ highest wicket-taker of the competition, and despite predominantly playing in conditions suited for batting, boasts 12 wickets at an average of 15.00.

But to the surprise of many, Abbott has also proven a formidable batsman in the middle order, averaging 79.50 in four innings this season.

The right-hander has plundered two half-centuries in the Sheffield Shield this summer, and guided New South Wales to a thrilling one-wicket victory against Queensland in round three.

Sean Abbott of the Blues.Source:Getty Images

National selectors are set to announce an extended Australian squad for the four-Test series against India next week, and Blues teammate Trent Copeland has “no doubt” Abbott is in contention.

“It’s been really impressive to watch him go about his business with bat and ball. The hard work he’s put into his batting paying off,” Copeland said, as reported by ESPNcricinfo.

“It’s a real value add for the guy who can play in a Test team and bat at seven or eight when we want to go with a certain balance. It means you are not a direct comparison to Pat Cummins, Josh Hazlewood or Mitch Starc.

“I’ve no doubt he’s ready to be in the Test hub if that was to come his way. His bowling, as a cricket nuffy myself, his planning and execution, his ability to go over and around the wicket and be exactly on the money, bumpers around the wicket, he’s become a very well-rounded bowler at a good pace and he stands the seam up perfectly. He’s as ready as anyone else if need be.”

Last month, Abbott was named in Australia’s short-format squad for the upcoming ODI and T20 series against India. He has not represented Australia in the 50-over format since his ODI debut against Pakistan in October 2014.

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