Cricket Australia has announced that wicketkeeper-batter Jimmy Peirson will join the Australian Test squad ahead of the second Ashes Test at Lord's next month. Peirson will replace backup gloveman Josh Inglis, who will travel with the squad for the beginning of their UK tour but return home to Perth for the birth of his first child with partner Megan.
Peirson's inclusion provides cover for the regular keeper, Alex Carey, and positions him closer to earning a Baggy Green in the event of an injury to the primary keeper. The 30-year-old has made a strong impression at the domestic and Australia A levels with his wicketkeeping skills, batting prowess, and leadership qualities.
Considered one of Australia's best pure keepers, Peirson's batting performance has significantly improved in recent times. While he averaged less than 30 in his first 35 first-class matches, he has averaged 42.56 in his last 30 games since the 2020-21 season, which includes six centuries from the lower middle-order. Notably, he played a crucial unbeaten innings of 128 for Australia A during their tour of Sri Lanka, leading a successful fourth-innings chase of 370 in Hambantota.
Despite his impressive performances, Peirson has faced tough competition from established keepers in the national team. Tim Paine held the Test role during the early stages of Peirson's successful run, and Alex Carey took over as the ODI keeper when Paine stepped down. Inglis, known for his dynamism, has emerged as the preferred candidate for the T20 role and has become Carey's understudy in both the Test and ODI teams.
Peirson has embraced the competition among keepers, recognizing it as a driving factor to push himself to excel. He aims to set a higher benchmark for himself, not only in terms of performance but also in leadership qualities.
The second Ashes Test will be held at Lord's from June 28 to July 2, followed by matches at Headingley from July 6 to 10, Old Trafford from July 19 to 23, and the final Test from July 27 to 31. Peirson's inclusion in the squad provides valuable depth and options in the wicketkeeping department as Australia seeks to reclaim the Ashes from England.