Vodafone Test Series v India
Langer hints at minimal changes for Indian Tests
An unbeaten home summer means Australia's selectors have all but settled on their Test squad to take on India already
21 September 2020, 05:24 PM AEST
Australia will go almost a year between Test matches but coach Justin Langer expects to take a similar squad into the upcoming four-match series against India.
The world No.1 ranked Test team hasn't played together since completing a 3-0 sweep of New Zealand at the SCG in January.
Australia planned to face Bangladesh in July, but that two-Test series was postponed because of COVID-19.
Although the dates for home Test summer could still change, Langer's team is due to open their blockbuster series against India on December 3.
The 11-month hiatus between international red-ball contests is something no Australian team has had to deal with in 33 years.
In 1987, Allan Border's team didn't play after losing the Ashes in January until facing New Zealand at the Gabba at the start of the following summer.
"We've been able to play some great Test cricket in the last 12-18 months," Langer said from quarantine in Adelaide on Monday.
"We're ranked number one at the moment and there's reasons for that.
"If someone's banging so hard on the door (in the Sheffield Shield) that we can't ignore them, that's what we're looking for.
"In our mind it's pretty clear at the moment what that first Test squad would be, but it's exciting to see if anyone else is going to put their hand up."
Australia used just 12 players in their five successful home Tests last summer, with James Pattinson replacing the injured Josh Hazlewood after three Tests.
The inclusion of an allrounder might be on the agenda if conditions require it, with Mitchell Marsh or even highly-rated youngster Cameron Green among the candidates.
Langer is confident his team will be as prepared as can be to take on Virat Kohli's side this summer despite the challenges associated with the coronavirus pandemic.
Langer, along with players from Australia's successful ODI touring party of England, are completing a two-week quarantine at the new Adelaide Oval hotel.
But Test stars, including Steve Smith, David Warner, Pat Cummins and Hazlewood, are plying their trade in the Indian Premier League in Dubai until November.
Those playing in the IPL will miss out on the early rounds of the Sheffield Shield, although the domestic calendar is yet to be finalised.
"We look at performance and there's great opportunities every time they play cricket," Langer said.
"Whether it's in the IPL or the Sheffield Shield, there's a great opportunity to show everyone what they've got and put their hand up for the selectors."