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Langer confirms Test debut for Marcus Harris; doesn't guarantee a spot for Marsh

4th December, 2018
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4th December, 2018
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Victoria’s Marcus Harris will make his Test debut for Australia tomorrow, after coach Justin Langer confirmed his inclusion in the XI to SEN Radio.

His inclusion in the suspension-ravaged squad initially raised eyebrows, but the 26-year-old will open the batting alongside Aaron Finch when the teams take to the field at the Adelaide Oval from 11am (AEST).

AAP quoted Langer saying he was “pretty sure Marcus Harris will make his debut, which is very exciting for him,” before lauding the debutant’s strong performances thus far in the Sheffield Shield.

“He’s scored 500 runs in Shield cricket in eight innings, he’s a terrific young player and he’s looked very good in some of the most competitive net sessions I’ve seen,” he said.

Harris’ standout performance this Shield season was easily a 250* he blasted off 403 balls against New South Wales. He’s picked up an additional three half-centuries opening the batting for a Victorian side that’s terrorised the rest of the competition so far.

That wasn’t the only interesting team news Langer dropped in the interview, with comments on the five and six spots seemingly suggesting vice captain Mitchell Marsh’s spot isn’t guaranteed.

“It’ll be either Peter Handscomb or Mitchell Marsh who’ll take the five or six position,” Langer was quoted as saying, although AAP is reporting that only one of those two will be selected, which would mean Travis Head will line up in the XI.

“We’ll have a look at that and come up with a decision,” he said.

Marsh has consistently been an extremely controversial inclusion in the Australian Test side – let alone an appointment to the vice captaincy – averaging just 26 with the bat and 42 with the ball despite being touted as Australia’s premier all-rounder.

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His axing at the hands of Handscomb would prove especially interesting given the unavailability of Steve Smith, David Warner and Cameron Bancroft due to suspension.

Likely Australia XI

Aaron Finch
Marcus Harris
Usman Khawaja
Shaun Marsh
Travis Head
Peter Handscomb/Mitch Marsh
Tim Paine
Pat Cummins
Mitchell Starc
Nathan Lyon
Josh Hazlewood

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