Mitchell Marsh dropped by Australia for series opener against India

Mitchell Marsh dropped by Australia for series opener against India

Australian vice-captain Mitch Marsh has been left out of the first Test XI to play India at Adelaide Oval.

Handscomb was dropped 12 months ago after the Adelaide Test, losing his place to Marsh.

"They're a good team and they've got a couple of great players and we will show them great respect. So I feel that Australia are really still the favourites", he added.

Renneberg took 5-39 from 86 balls in the second innings of the first Test of the 1967-68 tour, grabbing the first four wickets to fall to bowlers (Indian opening batsman Farokh Engineer was run out) and the final wicket to give Australia a 1-0 series lead.

Australian captain Tim Paine.

Despite scoring a century for Sheffield Shield side Western Australia in the leadup, Marsh pays the price for a poor tour of the United Arab Emirates where he managed 30 runs from four innings with the bat against Pakistan and two wickets at the cost of nearly 100 runs with the ball.

"It's probably unlikely we'll use the three quicks as much we will this game through the whole series as it wears on".

Apart from anything else, the decision to drop a recently appointed vice-captain underlined how slim Australia's leadership resources now are.

Pujara was dismissed on the second last ball of the day by a diving Pat Cummins
Pujara was dismissed on the second last ball of the day by a diving Pat Cummins

In the wake of all the chaos that came from the ball-tampering scandal, new head coach Justin Langer and captain Tim Paine have brought stability and restored some integrity to an Australia side that many people thought had lost self-control.

Paine has also hinted that Australia will be looking to bat first if they win the toss at Adelaide Oval on Thursday.

"At times when situations are hard you do find ways to upset the batsman's rhythm and I think a bit of banter is not harmful at all".

Marsh's form during The Ashes a year ago, when he averaged 106 with three centuries, shows the talented powerhouse is capable of performing at times of need. We've obviously got a lot of confidence in Nathan Lyon bowling a lot of overs if we need to.

Paine was dismissive of questions over whether Starc, Hazlewood and Cummins would be capable of standing up to the workload, given their micro-managed preparation for this assignment.

"You see their bowling attack, they've got a really good bowling attack, and I think to win Test matches, you need to have a really good bowling attack". "So, they are fresh and ready to go".

It is also surprising that India has opted for just one spinner and that is the experienced Ravichandran Ashwin and they have not gone for the wrist spinner in Kuldeep Yadav.

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