Wellington, December 12
Opening batsman Marcus Harris has been called into Australia’s squad as the hosts count the cost of a number of injuries ahead of the first Test against India in Adelaide.
David Warner had already been ruled out after a groin injury in the one-day series, while Will Pucovski suffered a concussion after being hit on his helmet while batting for Australia A against the tourists.
“Given the spate of injuries in recent weeks, we’re fortunate to be able to bring a player of Marcus’ calibre into the Test squad,” national selector Trevor Hohns said in a statement on Saturday.
“Marcus has been in outstanding form for Victoria this season and has had the benefit of facing India’s bowlers in both three-day tour matches.
“We have taken a conservative approach in managing Will since he sustained the concussion and hope he and David will be back to full health ahead of the Boxing Day Test.”
Harris’s elevation came after another Test hopeful, Cameron Green, suffered a concussion after being struck on the head in a tour game against India on Friday.
“I’m in the right place at the right time,” Harris told Fox Sports. “It’s been good, not to be the one that’s spoken about too much. I feel pretty ready to go … like I’ve been playing really well.”
No. 3 batsman Marnus Labuschagne said he would be ready to open the batting if required in Thursday’s opening day-night Test.
Australia’s batting woes are compounded by the poor form of prospective opener Joe Burns, who has averaged less than eight in his last eight First-Class innings.
“He is going all right,” Labuschagne said. “We’ve all been there where you just want it so badly, you want the runs.
“A few innings isn’t a judgment on a player’s ability and how he is going. I have full faith in Joe in that if he is selected, he will be right to go. He is a man for big moments and getting into contests.” Reuters