Domain Tests v India

Harris urges patience after batting stumble

An inexperienced batting unit is still finding its groove at the highest level

Martin Smith, at the Adelaide Oval

07 December 2018, 09:23 PM

India bowlers fightback has Test poised

Test new boy Marcus Harris has urged patience with Australia's inexperienced batting line-up after they followed India's lead by slumping towards a low total on the second day of the first Domain Test in Adelaide.

Australia dropped to 6-127 in the final session on day two, the same score India were on at the fall of their sixth wicket on Thursday, before Travis Head (61 not out) lead them to 7-191 at stumps, a deficit of 59 runs.

The home side's batting performance was the realisation of many pre-match predictions about a new-look top order that is without banned duo Steve Smith and David Warner.

Debutant Harris, one of four members of Australia's top six to have played less than 15 Tests, said batting slip-ups have to be expected from players still learning to adapt to the top level.

"I think you'll find with a bit of an inexperienced line-up that you've just got to be patient," the left-hander said after he scored 26 in his debut innings.

"There'll be those ebbs and flows in form just with guys trying to work it out a bit.

"We haven't got millions of Test matches into our top six so I think people just have to be a little bit patient.

"We're a pretty inexperienced batting line-up so we're going to have some days like that."

Harris receives Baggy Green No.456

Head and Cheteshwar Pujara (123) are the only two players to have passed fifty so far in the match, with the importance of the Indian's 16th Test century growing with every Australian wicket that fell on Friday.

Speaking to cricket.com.au before play on day two, Australian coach Justin Langer had forecast it wouldn't be easy for his young side to replicate Pujara's masterclass on a difficult pitch for batting.

"(He's) played 60-odd Test matches and that's probably the biggest difference between the Indian side and our side - the experience in our batting," Langer said during a Facebook Live.

"Whatever happens today, it's a great opportunity for our boys to learn how to play Test match cricket. Every time you get the chance, you get an opportunity to get better at it. You can't give people experience."

Despite being behind in the match after two days, Harris said the Australians were bullish about their chances of first reducing the deficit and then chasing down a sizeable total in the fourth innings.

"We're still 100 per cent in the game," he said.

"We're only 60 behind so all it takes is a good partnership in the morning and we're even.

"We have a brilliant bowling attack … so 100 per cent, we're positive.

"A good thing with this wicket is it (tends to) get better as the match goes on so I think that should hold us in good stead."

Domain Test Series v India

Dec 6-10: First Test, Adelaide Oval

Dec 14-18: Second Test, Perth Stadium

Dec 26-30: Third Test, MCG

Jan 3-7: Fourth Test, SCG

Australia squad: Tim Paine (c, wk), Josh Hazlewood (vc), Mitch Marsh (vc), Pat Cummins, Aaron Finch, Peter Handscomb, Marcus Harris, Travis Head, Usman Khawaja, Nathan Lyon, Shaun Marsh, Peter Siddle, Mitchell Starc, Chris Tremain

India squad: Virat Kohli (c), Murali Vijay, KL Rahul, Prithvi Shaw, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane, Hanuma Vihari, Rohit Sharma, Rishabh Pant (wk), Parthiv Patel (wk), Ravi Ashwin, Ravi Jadeja, Kuldeep Yadav, Mohammed Shami, Ishant Sharma, Umesh Yadav, Jasprit Bumrah, Bhuvneshwar Kumar