Australia have added Marcus Harris to their Test squad for the upcoming four-match Test series against India. The southpaw has been recalled after young batsman Will Pucovski was officially ruled out of the first Test. Marcus Harris is likely to open the innings alongside Joe Burns during the Adelaide Test next week.
Pucovski has been sidelined after suffering a concussion following a blow to the head during the first tour game against India A. He was hit on the head by a Kartik Tyagi bouncer and had to walk off. He was being tipped to open the innings for Australia in the upcoming series before being hit on the head.
Incumbent David Warner was already out of the series-opener after injuring his adductor muscle in the second ODI at the Sydney Cricket Ground late last month. Warner did not travel with the Australians to Adelaide as he continues his rehabilitation and is targeting a comeback in the second Test in Melbourne on Boxing Day.
In Warner’s absence, Will Pucovski looked set to replace Warner in the first Test XI but the 22-year-old is still recovering from a mild concussion. Meanwhile, Marcus Harris has been in fine form this season, posting 239 against South Australia in his first innings of this season’s Marsh Sheffield Shield as part of the highest-ever Shield stand of 486 alongside Will Pucovski.
“Given the spate of injuries in recent weeks, we’re fortunate to be able to bring a player of Marcus’ calibre into the Test squad,” said Australia’s National Selector Trevor Hohns.
“Marcus has been in outstanding form for Victoria this season and has had the benefit of facing India’s bowlers in both three-day tour matches at Drummoyne and under lights at the SCG.
“At the same time, we are disappointed for David and Will that they will not be available for the first Test. We have taken a conservative approach in managing Will since he sustained the concussion and hope he and David will be back to full health ahead of the Boxing Day Test,” he added.
With both Warner and Will Pucovski out, Harris looks set to play his 10th Test and first since the final Test of the 2019 Ashes. He averages 25.06 with two half-centuries since debuting against India at the Adelaide Oval two years ago. Harris is currently busy with the ongoing three-day tour game in Sydney and also played the first tour game.
Australia Test squad:
Tim Paine (c), Sean Abbott, Joe Burns, Pat Cummins, Cameron Green, Josh Hazlewood, Travis Head, Marnus Labuschagne, Nathan Lyon, Michael Neser, James Pattinson, Will Pucovski, Steve Smith, Mitchell Starc, Mitchell Swepson, Matthew Wade, David Warner
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