Australia leave out Mitch Marsh for series opener against India
Adelaide: Australian skipper Tim Paine said here on Wednesday that Victoria opener Marcus Harris will make his Test debut while Mitchell Marsh will make way for middle-order batsman Peter Handscomb in the first Test against India.
Handscomb will bat at No.5 and the hosts will thus enter the first Test with four specialist bowlers – Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood, Pat Cummins and Nathan Lyon.
Explaining Marsh’s omission, Paine said, “We know he’s good enough to be a great all-rounder at Test level but hasn’t quite put it together at Test level yet.” He added, “As this series wears on and you get to places where the wicket is a bit flatter and conditions a bit warmer and bowlers a little more tired, he might have more of a role to play.”
Australia coach Justin Langer, meanwhile, said India “are smelling blood” and are confident of winning their first Test series ever in Australia. “You sense they’re smelling blood,” Langer was quoted as saying by SEN’s Whateley.
“Just like the great Australian cricket team of 2001 felt and we just fell short (of winning in India) and we were able to (win in) 2004. You sense these moments. I’m sensing India feel that,” the coach added.
Ahead of their first Test against India, Paine said the Aussies, still recovering from the ball-tampering scandal, has identified the areas that needed improvements.
Quizzed about targeting India’s lone spinner R Ashwin in this match, he replied the game-plan is going to be quite similar for even the Indian batsmen.