India vs Australia 1st Test Adelaide: Debutant Marcus Harris and his Victorian teammate are set to break a unique 18-year-old record. Not a record as such, but the duo are a combination of right and left-handed batsman, something that Australia has not had since Greg Blewitt and Michael Slater opened the batting against New Zealand in Wellington. Since then, Australia has always had left-handed openers, be it Matthew Hayden, Justin Langer or Usman Khawaja, Phil Hughes among many more.
The hosts for a change will start underdogs in the absence of Steve Smith and David Warner against India, who look a more dominant side on paper.
Meanwhile, the hosts have announced their XI on the eve of the match. The hosts will bank heavily on their pace battery which comprises of Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc, and Josh Hazlewood. Nathan Lyon, like Ravichandran Ashwin, will be the only spinner.
Australia’s playing XI: Marcus Harris, Aaron Finch, Usman Khawaja, Shaun Marsh, Peter Handscomb, Travis Head, Tim Paine (c), Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc, Nathan Lyon, Josh Hazlewood.
Explaining Marsh’s omission, Paine said: “We know he’s good enough to be a great allrounder at Test level but hasn’t quite put it together at Test level yet.”
“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.
“We’ll send him back to Shield, get some more cricket under his belt knowing at some stage we’re probably going to need him.
“The (Adelaide Oval) wicket over the last few years here has given enough throughout the game. We’ve got a lot of confidence in Nathan Lyon bowling the overs we need and all three of our quicks are going in very fresh.”