On the eve of the first Test to be played between Australia and India at the Adelaide Oval, the hosts have named their playing XI. Earlier, team India had also announced the 12-man squad for the game.
Marcus Harris, who had earned his maiden call-up to the squad, has been slotted in straight away for the opener’s position. Aaron Finch will accompany him at the top of the order. He had a slight injury scare during practice but manages to retain his place.
Usman Khawaja’s place was uncertain as he was recovering from an injury. But the left-hander manages to gain back fitness just in time for the first game. Shaun Marsh, Peter Handscomb, Travis Head will constitute the middle-order.
The all-rounder Mitchell Marsh doesn’t find a place in the XI. The skipper Tim Paine cited poor form in Test cricket as the reason for his omission. Marsh will be sent to play in the Sheffield Shield in the meantime.
“We know he’s good enough to be an all-rounder at Test level but hasn’t quite put it together at Test cricket. 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 as quoted by cricket.com.au.
The bowling unit is as strong as it can get. The pace trio of Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood and Pat Cummins form a wonderful combination. Nathan Lyon also has a great record bowling at home.
Australia’s playing XI for the first Test
Marcus Harris, Aaron Finch, Usman Khawaja, Shaun Marsh, Peter Handscomb, Travis Head, Tim Paine (c & wk), Pat Cummins, Josh Hazlewood, Mitchell Starc, Nathan Lyon