Darren Lehmann names his Australian XI for first Test against India
What’s the story?
Former coach of the Australian Cricket team Darren Lehmann who stepped down from his post after the ball tampering scandal that shook the world of cricket, has named his playing XI for Australia when they face off against India in the first Test match at Adelaide starting on December 6th, 2018.
The Australians are coming off a spirited performance in UAE where Usman Khawaja displayed enormous amount of grit to help Australia secure a draw in the first Test match. Although, they lost the series 0-1, the mental confidence of having done rather well in sub-continent conditions despite having two of their best batsmen Steven Smith and David Warner, should hold them in good stead when they take on India at home.
India and Australia are scheduled to play a four match Test series that starts from December 6, 2018 at the Adelaide Oval. While speaking on Macquaire Sports Radio, when asked what the Australian playing XI should be for Australia for the first Test match against India, he provided his squad on air.
Lehmann was the head coach of the national team up until the ball tampering scandal or the sandpaper scandal that left three players banned- Steven Smith, David Warner and Cameron Bancroft. Post the aftermath of that incident, he resigned from his post allowing a fresh leadership team to take forward Australian cricket.
Lehmann quite naturally would be keeping a close eye on the Sheffield Shield and would know who can give India a good fight.
The heart of the matter
Asked to name the playing XI for the first Test to be played at Adelaide, Lehmann had this to say:
Aaron Finch: “Play him at the top of the order and let’s see how he goes.”
Marcus Harris: “In the mould of Justin Langer, he is very expansive. Has had a big shield season.”
Usman Khawaja: “He has been so good at three for me in Australia.”
Shaun Marsh: “His record in Australia has been outstanding.”
If Ravindra Jadeja plays - Travis Head: “I don’t mind having so many left handers if Jadeja plays.”
If Ravichandran Ashwin plays – Peter Handscomb: “Need a right hander, if Ashwin plays you can’t have too many left handers. Scored a hundred last week.”
Mitchell Marsh: “Very good hundred against Queensland. Needs to perform no doubt. He starts the summer. “
Tim Paine: “Tim picks himself, he is the captain, and rightly so. He plays and is the wicketkeeper.”
"The bowlers pick themselves, our bowling is really strong, so we play Pat, Mitch, Nathan and Josh Hazlewood.”
Other members of Lehmann's squad: Peter Siddle, Dan Worall, Jackson Bird, Chris Tremain and Scott Boland
Australia have named their 14-member squad for the first two Tests against India. Lehmann seemed to have got his observations bang on while selecting his playing XI for the first Test. With the Australian batting line-up looking a bit shaky in the absence of David Warner and Steven Smith, the likes of Usman Khawaja, Shaun Marsh would need to take more responsibility.
In what’s termed as India’s best opportunity to win a Test series in Australia, the hosts would want to prove that they are a force to reckon with at home despite being weakened by the absence of some of their marquee players.