Marcus Harris has beaten Matthew Renshaw to the top of Australia’s batting order for the first Test against India.
Harris will receive his debut baggy green at Adelaide Oval on December 6 and open the batting, most likely alongside Victorian teammate Aaron Finch.
Cricket Australia has unveiled a 14-man squad for the Test series against India, which includes Travis Head and Chris Tremain as back-up players, as well as veteran quick Peter Siddle.
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Peter Handscomb has also been recalled to the squad after missing the tour of the UAE.
Harris earned his baggy green with a stunning run of form in the Sheffield Shield that included a 250 not out against NSW.
He’s averaging 87.40 this season and forced the selectors’ hands in picking him in the Test squad.
The 26-year-old was once dubbed as “mediocre” by national coach Justin Langer, but is now firming as the answer to his opening conundrum.
Harris at the end of the 2015-16 Sheffield Shield season left Western Australia – then coached by Langer – for a move east. He had only scored 274 runs at 27.40 that season, prompting Langer to label his parting player as “mediocre with flashes of brilliance”.
Now in his third season with Victoria, Harris is set to become the latest Australian to be handed a Baggy Green.
Harris has averaged more than 40 in each of his seasons playing for Victoria, making 706 at 41.52 last season and 808 at 42.52 in 2016-17.
Selection chairman Trevor Hohns outlined the reasons behind the omission of Renshaw, Marnus Labuschagne, Michael Neser, Jon Holland and Brendan Doggett.
“The players have had the opportunity to put their best case forward for selection through the JLT Cup and Sheffield Shield, but unfortunately haven’t done enough to earn selection.”
Aaron Finch, Marcus Harris, Usman Khawaja, Shaun Marsh, Peter Handscomb, Mitchell Marsh, Tim Paine (c), Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood, Nathan Lyon, Travis Head, Chris Tremain, Peter Siddle