The Indian team announced their 12-man squad for the first Test starting on Thursday at the Adelaide Oval. Test newcomer Hanuma Vihari and ODI vice-captain Rohit Sharma would be seen vying for a place in the playing XI.
Vihari had made his debut in Test cricket at the Oval this year where he scored 56 and also ended with three wickets, giving away 36 runs. For Rohit, the last Test appearance came way back against South Africa at the beginning of this year. The right-hander has toured India before but averages just 28.83 from the six innings, in which he has just one fifty.
India, the number one ranked Test team would walk into the series with the aim of upstaging the Aussies Down Under for the very first time in their cricketing history.
Australia meanwhile announced their playing XI for the first of the four-Test series. The surprise exclusion was that of all-rounder Mitchell Marsh. Usman Khawaja also makes the playing XI. Marsh’s place was filled by Travis Head and Peter Handscomb while Marcus Harris is set to make his Test debut, as an opener.
He would have Aaron Finch as his partner. Skipper Tim Paine explained Marsh’s exclusion and added that the all-rounder would benefit from playing the Sheffield Shield.
Mitch Marsh has not been as consistent as he would like and we would like,” said Paine at his pre-match press conference.
“We know the talent that Mitch has and we know that most likely at some stage in this series we will need him.
“We are taking the opportunity at the moment to go back and play a Shield game and get some cricket under the belt,” Paine said.
Marsh’s exclusion means that the bowling department now would have to shoulder more burden in Adelaide. “We obviously have a lot of confidence in Nathan Lyon bowling a lot of overs if we need to,” the Aussie wicket-keeper batsman said.
“And probably the fact that all our three quicks go in real fresh. We have confidence in them, particularly at the start of the series,” he added.
India’s 12-man squad: Murali Vijay, KL Rahul, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli (capt), Rohit Sharma, Ajinkya Rahane, Hanuma Vihari, Rishabh Pant, Ravi Ashwin, Mohammed Shami, Ishant Sharma, Jasprit Bumrah
Australia playing XI: Marcus Harris, Aaron Finch, Usman Khawaja, Shaun Marsh, Travis Head, Peter Handscomb, Tim Paine (capt), Josh Hazlewood, Pat Cummins, Nathan Lyon, Mitchell Starc