The groin injury to left-handed opener David Warner has put Australia on backfoot ahead of the first Test of their four-match series against India which begins from December 17 in Adelaide.
The young Will Pucovski also suffered a blow on his head in the first practice match against India A, and he was ruled out of the upcoming pink-ball Test due to concussion. So now, the hosts are in a spot of bother as they have to look for a new opening pair.
In a recent interaction with Big Sports Breakfast, former Australia captain Michael Clarke stated that he would have brought Shaun Marsh into the current squad to partner Matthew Wade.
In the Sheffield Shield 2020-21, the 37-year-old Marsh scored 485 runs in four matches at a phenomenal average of 97. He was the second-highest run-scorer in the tournament – just ten runs behind Pucovski.
“I would have had Shaun Marsh opening the batting instead of Marcus Harris in my squad,” Clarke said.
“So Labuschagne goes three, Smith four, Travis Head five, Cameron Green six. I’m going with Wade at the top of the order. I’m going to keep that middle order – 3, 4, 5 – because they’re in terrific form.
“I’m hoping these two openers [Harris and Wade] will only be there for the first Test. I’m hoping Warner and Puvoski are fit for the second, so then things change,” he added.
While there are question marks over Australia’s batting order, their bowling attack looks strong.
Left-arm pacer Mitchell Starc has rejoined the squad after a week break on compassionate grounds, with him expected to join Pat Cummins, Nathan Lyon and Josh Hazlewood in final XI.
Michael Clarke’s Australia XI for the first Test vs India:
Marcus Harris, Matthew Wade, Steve Smith, Travis Head, Marnus Labuschagne, Cameron Green, Tim Paine (c), Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc, Nathan Lyon, Josh Hazlewood.