After a rain-interrupted T20I series, the focus now shifts to the four-match test series which is all set to commence from December 6. The first match will be played at Adelaide and the memories of twin centuries from Indian skipper Virat Kohli still remains fresh in the minds of cricket enthusiasts.
Marcus Harris, Peter Handscomb and bowler Chris Tremain have been named as a part of the 14-man squad for the first two tests. Though Tim Paine has hinted on few changes from the squad that couldn’t make an impact against Pakistan, discussions are still on the cards to finalize the playing XI.
The absence of Smith and Warner in a home series is a huge loss for the side and the responsibility is on each one of them to regain their lost pride.
Ricky Ponting, the successful skipper of the kangaroos put forward his playing XI for Adelaide test. In an interview to Cricket Australia’s official web channel, the former captain backed Aaron Finch to perform better alongside Victorian youngster Marcus Harris. Though Finch wasn’t at his best in the T20I series, he proved his mettle as a better test batsman in the UAE series.
Ponting wanted Khawaja to bat at Number 3, a position which can impact the outcome of the game. However, he did not want to alter the middle order comprising Marsh brothers and Travis Head despite their poor show against Pakistan. He had no hesitation in picking up a complete NSW bowling line-up of Starc, Lyon, Hazelwood and Cummins.
Ponting who is a close aide of Australian coach Justin Langer was earlier appointed as a special consultant for limited overs cricket. Both of them have been involved in grooming the present team to get back to their winning ways.
So will Langer consider this playing XI or does he have something in his mind?
Ricky Ponting’s XI for the first Test: Marcus Harris, Aaron Finch, Usman Khawaja, Shaun Marsh, Travis Head, Mitch Marsh, Tim Paine (c/wk), Mitchell Starc, Pat Cummins, Nathan Lyon, Josh Hazlewood.