Mitchell Marsh dropped by Australia for series opener against India

Mitchell Marsh dropped by Australia for series opener against India

Mitchell Marsh dropped by Australia for series opener against India

Tim Paine will lead a fresh-faced side featuring just two batsmen with more than 15 Tests experience in Shaun Marsh and Usman Khawaja. Will they deliver India its first Test series win on Australian soil?

Australia's attempt to emulate their Ashes bowling formula from last summer, combined with question marks over a batting line-up shorn of Steven Smith and David Warner, has forced the omission of the vice-captain Mitchell Marsh from the team to face India in the first Test of the summer at a draining Adelaide Oval. There's the opportunity for him to go back and get a Shield game under his belt before the BBL start.

But the Indians have never won a Test series in Australia and if pace bowlers Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood and Pat Cummins are firing the tourists could be in for another tough time. Whoever wins the first Test will win the series 2-1.

"The wicket over relays few years here has given enough over the game, we've got a lot of confidence in Nathan Lyon bowling a lot of overs if he needs to", Paine said.

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Australia could give a debut to in-form opener Marcus Harris, likely to partner Aaron Finch at the top of the order with Usman Khawaja appearing to be sufficiently recovered from knee surgery to come in at number three.

They have rested all their key bowlers like Starc, Hazlewood and Cummins with this series in mind and they will look to make good use of the favourable conditions in Adelaide which should favour the quick bowlers but offer some spin for Nathan Lyon as the match progresses.

"I think from last time round, I've become more assured of myself, I don't really find the need to prove anything to anyone", he told Macquarie Sports Radio at the weekend. "We have confidence in them, particularly at the start of the series". The Adelaide Oval hosted the first ever day-night Test match which was played between Australia and New Zealand in November 2015. "They got through the Ashes past year I thought and bowled a hell of a lot of overs", he said.

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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