Domain Tests v India

Australia to bowl first in Adelaide Test

India captain Virat Kohli calls correctly at the coin toss and quickly opted to bat first in the opening Domain Test at the Adelaide Oval

Louis Cameron

06 December 2018, 10:39 AM

India captain Virat Kohli has won the toss and elected to bat first in the opening Domain Test of the summer at Adelaide Oval, with the visitors naming limited-overs star Rohit Sharma in their XI.

Australia skipper Tim Paine lost what could be a crucial toss given the searing temperatures in Adelaide, with Kohli confirming Rohit will bat at No.6 after edging out allrounder Hanuma Vihari.

Opener Marcus Harris received his Baggy Green on Thursday morning from Michael Hussey, with the opener becoming the 456th Australia male Test cricketer.

Paine confirmed on match eve allrounder Mitch Marsh, just two Tests after being appointed the side's co vice-captain, had been axed.

Marcus Harris and family with his brand new Baggy Green // Getty
Marcus Harris and family with his brand new Baggy Green // Getty

The man he'd replaced in Australia's XI during last summer's Ashes, batsman Peter Handscomb, has been included at Marsh's expense, filling out a middle order also consisting of Usman Khawaja, Shaun Marsh and Travis Head ahead of wicketkeeper Paine.

Harris will open the batting with third-gamer Aaron Finch, who hasn't opened for Victoria at Sheffield Shield level in five years though he's thrived against the new ball in limited-overs cricket.

Paine will have just four specialist bowlers to call upon, though his attack's quality is undoubtedly the side's trump card.

Quicks Josh Hazlewood and Pat Cummins return to the side after missing Australia's recent series against Pakistan, reuniting with Mitchell Starc and Nathan Lyon.

"They (the fast bowling trio) have been a bit scary," Head told cricket.com.au before play. "They're raring to go – it's nice having to have all three of them back in together, complimented well by the GOAT (Lyon).

"They've taken the handbrake off and hopefully they can keep it off for the whole week."

Fast bowlers Peter Siddle, an incumbent from the two-Test UAE series, and Chris Tremain are the other unused members of the 14-man squad for first two Tests against India. 

Rohit played the last of his 25 Tests against South Africa in January this year but has toured Australia before, averaging 28.83 in six innings with one half-century in 2014-15.

Rohit Sharma (centre) won the nod to bat at No.6 // AAP
Rohit Sharma (centre) won the nod to bat at No.6 // AAP

India will also line up without a supplementary quick, although not by choice having lost Hardik Pandya for the series to a back injury.

Kohli said his frontline pacemen had no option but to embrace the challenge of enduring long spells in tough conditions.

"The workload on the guys who will play in the absence of the allrounder will be high but it's something that has already been discussed, that they should look forward to that and not think of that as a burden and something that's going to be tough," he said.

"Because at international level, things are going to be tough.

"We'll just have to embrace that and make something out of the resources we have at present."

A scorching start to the Test summer is forecast, with the mercury set to soar to 39C on Thursday

- with AAP

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

India XI: KL Rahul, Murali Vijay, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli (c), Ajinkya Rahane, Rohit Sharma, Rishabh Pant (wk), Ravichandran Ashwin, Mohammed Shami, Jasprit Bumrah, Ishant Sharma

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