Uncapped opening batsman Marcus Harris has been named in the 14-member Australian squad for the first two Tests of the four-match series against India, beginning December 6 at the Adelaide Oval. Harris got the nod in the national squad on the back of his recent terrific performances in the domestic first-class cricket for Victoria, having notched up a total of 437 runs in the JLT Sheffield Shield this summer.
Meanwhile, Harris’ Victoria teammate Peter Handscomb also found his way back into the national squad after missing out on selection for Australia’s recent Test series against Pakistan in the United Arab Emirates.
Reflecting on the duo’s inclusion, chief selector Trevor Hohns said that Harris has been rewarded following his recent impressive performances for Victoria, while Handscomb has been one of the consistent performers in the domestic cricket.
“Marcus Harris has forced his way into the squad after an impressive start to the Sheffield Shield campaign for Victoria, and in recent times has performed in high pressure matches, including Sheffield Shield finals,” cricket.com.au quoted Hohns as saying.
Talking about Handscomb, the national selector said, ” He’s been one of Victoria’s most consistent performers with the bat through the JLT Cup and Sheffield Shield. He’s a well-respected member of the dressing room, a calm head at the crease and has also played against India at Test level.”
Besides Harris, his state teammate Chris Tremain is the only other uncapped player to have received the nod in the squad, which also comprises of six specialist batters and five fast bowlers.
While Test incumbents Aaron Finch and Travis Head have also been called up in the Australian squad, the Queensland duo of Matthew Renshaw and Marnus Labuschagne have been dropped for the upcoming Test series against India.
Top-order batsman Shaun Marsh, who struggled against Pakistan but has been in dominant form since returning home, is also set to play against the Virat Kohli-led Test side.
The full Australian squad is as follows:
Aaron Finch, Pat Cummins, Peter Handscomb, Marcus Harris, Josh Hazlewood (vc), Travis Head, Usman Khawaja, Nathan Lyon, Mitch Marsh (vc), Shaun Marsh, Tim Paine (captain, wk), Mitchell Starc, Chris Tremain, Peter Siddle.