Australia axe Marsh as Khawaja returns against India

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However, he does believe that the side will be under pressure to deliver as India's past record in Australia is not entirely great.

Australia captain Tim Paine confirmed earlier on Wednesday that fast bowling all-rounder Mitchell Marsh had been omitted and the hosts will go into the match with six specialist batsmen.

With the world's number one Test nation awaiting them in Adelaide in the first of four Tests from Thursday, Paine said it was time to start looking forward.

Talking about the team for the opening Test, Langer said Marcus Harris is likely to make his debut but a decision is yet to be made about whether Peter Handscomb or allrounder Mitchell Marsh will feature in the playing XI. This has meant a recall for Peter Handscomb in the middle order, handing Victoria three spots in the same Australian batting line-up for the first time since Bill Lawry, Ian Redpath and Keith Stackpole in the 1970-71 Ashes.

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"We are taking the opportunity at the moment to go back and play a Shield game and get some cricket under belt".

Apart from anything else, the decision to drop a recently appointed vice-captain underlined how slim Australia's leadership resources now are.

After all the talk, sledges, intent, and plenty of planning, the Test series between India and Australia is set to begin.

"I think from last time round, I've become more assured of myself, I don't really find the need to prove anything to anyone", he told Macquarie Sports Radio at the weekend. "Numerous players are coming here for the second or the third time, so we have got a reasonable chance for playing good cricket and make the fans enjoy the tour", the premier off-spinner added.

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"We obviously have a lot of confidence in Nathan Lyon bowling a lot of overs if we need to", said Paine.

Paine was dismissive of questions over whether Starc, Hazlewood and Cummins would be capable of standing up to the workload, given their micro-managed preparation for this assignment.

They have rested all their key bowlers like Starc, Hazlewood and Cummins with this series in mind and they will look to make good use of the favourable conditions in Adelaide which should favour the quick bowlers but offer some spin for Nathan Lyon as the match progresses.

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