MELBOURNE: In-form opener Marcus Harris is set to make his debut after being picked in Australia’s squad for their first two Tests against India alongside fellow rookie Chris Tremain.
The 26-year-old, who smashed 250 not out against New South Wales last month and is the Sheffield Shield’s second-highest run-scorer, is expected to open the innings in Adelaide on December 6 alongside Aaron Finch.
Tremain, Harris’s uncapped Victoria team-mate, was also included as part of the bowling line-up.
Aside from them, the squad is mostly unchanged from the one that drew one Test and lost the other against Pakistan in the United Arab Emirates last month.
Steve Smith, David Warner, and Cameron Bancroft remain unavailable as they serve bans for ball-tampering.
Usman Khawaja, who opened the batting on the UAE tour, was included but is yet to prove his fitness after knee surgery. If ready, he is set to come in at number three.
Marnus Labuschagne, who played on the Pakistan tour, has been axed with middle-order batsman Peter Handscomb back in the frame after losing his place during last year’s Ashes series. He is up against Travis Head for the number six slot.
The top-class bowling attack is spearheaded by Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood, Pat Cummins and Nathan Lyon with either Tremain or veteran Peter Siddle the fourth seamer.
National selector Trevor Hohns said the 14-man squad for the Adelaide and Perth Tests would be cut to 12 ahead of the games, with two players released to get match time in domestic Shield cricket.
“We believe all players chosen deserve their selection in the squad, and we’re confident given the opportunity all will apply themselves well against India,” he said.