At last the much-awaited Test series between India and Australia will begin from Thursday at the Adelaide Oval. Before 24 hours of gameplay, the hosts Australia have followed their tradition and have announced their playing XI.
Seeing the hosts, Virat Kohli-led side has also announced their 12-man squad for the series opener. Pacers Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Umesh Yadav along with spinner Ravindra Jadeja has been left out.
The 12-man squad includes Hanuma Vihari and Rohit Sharma. If practice games are held into account, the former has greater chance of featuring in the playing XI.
The pacers in the team are Ishant Sharma, Mohammed Shami and Jasprit Bumrah while the sole spinner in the squad is Ravi Ashwin.
— BCCI (@BCCI) December 5, 2018
Murali Vijay and KL Rahul to open the batting
Both Murali Vijay and KL Rahul has got a lifeline after an untimely injury to Prithvi Shaw. Both of them played well in the second innings of the practice game and it would be interesting to see how to play in Adelaide.
Jadeja has been dropped despite performing well in the last Test against England. Ashwin is the lead spinner of the team and he should perform well from the word go.
India’s bowling attack has the ability to pick up 20 wickets. However the batting department has to improve. Apart from skipper Kohli, eyes will be on Cheteshwar Pujara and vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane.
Rishabh Pant’s technique behind the wickets will also be under the scanner. The management has backed him even after his not-so-good keeping in England. Parthiv Patel is also with the team as the reserve wicketkeeper.
India’s 12-man squad: Virat Kohli (C), A Rahane (VC), KL Rahul, M Vijay, C Pujara, Rohit Sharma, Hanuma Vihari, R Pant (WK), R Ashwin, M Shami, I Sharma, J Bumrah.
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Mitchell Marsh left out of Aussie squad while Marcus Harris debuts
After showing a blistering form in Sheffield Shield, Marcus Harris has confirmed his debut for the national side. The 26-year-old batsman from Victoria has an average of 71.50 in five games.
Harris will open the batting with Aaron Finch. Usman Khawaja will come at No. 3, followed by Shaun Marsh, Peter Handscomb, Travis Head, and the skipper Tim Paine.
Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood and Pat Cummins will head the pace battery. Nathan Lyon is the lone spinner as the dry-looking Adelaide will aid spinners as the game progresses.
Confirmation that Marcus Harris will make his Test debut in Adelaide!
— cricket.com.au (@cricketcomau) December 5, 2018
The main topic of discussion was the exclusion of Mitchell Marsh from the squad. The management has gone in with an extra batsman in place of an all-rounder.
Regarding Marsh’s omission, skipper Paine said to 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 skipper also added that Marsh needs some more Shield cricket under his belt in order to get selected in the future. “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,” said Paine.
Australian coach Justin Langer knows that India have not tasted much success Down Under, but he wants the hosts to respect the visitors because of their 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