Australia name team for first Test
Cricket Australia has named the 12-man squad for the first Test in Chennai. Moises Henriques will make his Test debut, while Shane Watson will bat at No.4. As expected, David Warner, who was confident of playing in the first Test after recovering from a broken thumb, will open the batting with Ed Cowan.
"If everyone is fit, it's looking like that's most probably going to be the way the selectors and Michael [Clarke] and Mickey [Arthur] go," Watson said on Tuesday about the possibility of him dropping down the batting order. "With the continuity of what's happened over the last 12 months especially, I can definitely see why they want to go that way.
With 14 Tests and one ODI in India, Watson is one of the most experienced man in the current Australian side when it comes to batting in these conditions. Add to that the time he has spent in India during the IPL, his importance in his team increases many fold. He is confident of contributing irrespective of the position he bats at.
"I've got as much experience as anyone, whether batting in the middle order or at the top of the order. Myself and Michael are going to be very important parts in this series for us as a batting unit in that middle order because it can be very difficult to start. But we're as well-equipped as anyone to be able to get through it,” Watson said.
With not too many left-handers in the Indian batting line-up, Australia decided to go with only one left-arm pacer. As a result, they’ve had to take the tough call of dropping their most experienced Test bowler, Mitchell Johnson, in favour of young Mitchell Starc.
As captain Michael Clarke and coach Mickey Arthur maintained, the team has decided to back their strength, which is fast bowling, rather than getting carried away with the spinning conditions in India. Hence, Nathan Lyon is the sole spinner included in the playing XI.
Australia team for the first Test: Michael Clarke (capt), Ed Cowan, David Warner, Phillip Hughes, Shane Watson, Matthew Wade, Moises Henriques, Peter Siddle, Mitchell Starc, James Pattinson, Nathan Lyon
12th man: Glenn Maxwell