Australian selectors have named two debutants to the Test side ahead of December 6’s Adelaide Oval clash, with Marcus Harris and Chris Tremain added to the 14-man squad.
Harris and Tremain will be hoping to don the baggy green for the first time in their respective careers after being added to the squad for the first two Tests of the series against India.
Harris’ inclusion is something of a surprise, with the Victorian youngster edging out favourite Matt Renshaw for one of the opening positions, while Chris Tremain faces a tougher time squeezing into the XI with Josh Hazelwood, Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc and Peter Siddle all still present.
Mitchell Marsh’s recent appointment to vice-captain all but assured his continued presence in the side, although fans will be unhappy to see his brother Shaun included in the side once more after some (admittedly) impressive Shield form.
Australian supporters will be buoyed, however, by the news that Usman Khawaja is set to slot right back into the side after overcoming a hip injury.
National selector, Trevor Hohns, praised Khawaja for his impressive work during recovery.
“We’ve been really impressed with the way Usman Khawaja has applied himself through his rehabilitation and he’s left no stone unturned in his bid to return in Adelaide.
“Barring any set-backs, all the signs are indicating he will be available for the first Test,” he said.
Hohns also made special mention of debutants Harris and Tremain, citing Harris’ “impressive start” in the Sheffield Shield, saying the 26-year-old had “forced his way into the squad” with sublime performances in high-pressure sitatuions.
“Chris Tremain has also been performing consistently with the ball for Victoria,” Hohns added, claiming the Victorian pace bowler “thoroughly deserves his place in the squad.”
Hohns also addressed the surprise recall of Peter Handscomb, calling him a “calm head at the crease”, while also simply stating popular omissions such as Renshaw and Marnus Labuschagne “[hadn’t] done enough to earn selection.”
Tim Paine (C, WK), Mitch Marsh (VC), Pat Cummins, Aaron Finch, Peter Handscomb, Marcus Harris, Josh Hazlewood, Travis Head, Usman Khawaja, Nathan Lyon, Shaun Marsh, Peter Siddle, Mitchell Starc, Chris Tremain