Australia vs India: Hosts announce playing XI for the first Test

Australia vs India: Hosts announce playing XI for the first Test

All-rounder has been axed from the XI.

Virat Kohli and Tim Paine pose with the Border–Gavaskar Trophy
Virat Kohli and Tim Paine pose with the Border–Gavaskar Trophy. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images)

With the Test series between India and Australia in less than 24 hours, hosts Australia have announced their playing eleven for the series opener at the Adelaide Oval. Marcus Harris, whose selection came on the back of his blistering form in the Sheffield Shield has been confirmed to debut for the national side.

The 26-year old Victorian batsman averaged 71.50 in five games in the Australian first-class competition and will partner Aaron Finch at the top of the order. Usman Khawaja will bat at No. 3 followed by Shaun Marsh, Peter Handscomb, Travis Head, and the skipper Tim Paine to constitute the middle-order.

The pace battery will be headed by Mitchell Starc with Josh Hazlewood and Pat Cummins named as his deputies. Nathan Lyon will be lone front-line spinner in a dry-looking Adelaide surface which is tipped to assist spinners as the game progresses.

Mitchell Marsh left out of the squad

Another blockbuster news from the playing eleven is that Mitchell Marsh has been axed. The decision to leave Marsh allowed Australia to bolster their line-up by including an extra batsman without an all-rounder. The skipper Tim Paine, who announced the playing eleven explained Marsh’s omission by saying as quoted by Cricket.com.au “We know he’s good enough to be an all-rounder at Test level but hasn’t quite put it together at Test cricket.”

The wicketkeeper-batsman further explained by saying that Marsh would be needing some Shield cricket under his belt since he could be picked in the upcoming games, “We’ll send him back to the Shield, get some more Shield cricket under his belt, knowing at some stage we’re probably going to need him.” 

Australian coach Justin Langer was also wary of the Indian side and understands that the Indian team hasn’t tasted success in the Australian conditions but conceded that the hosts respect the visitors, given that they have a very good side.

Australia’s playing XI: Marcus Harris, Aaron Finch, Usman Khawaja, Shaun Marsh, Peter Handscomb, Travis Head, Tim Paine (c&wk), Pat Cummins, Josh Hazlewood, Mitchell Starc, Nathan Lyon

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