Cricket Test Squad Announced: Selectors Pin Hopes On Little-Known Opener
Australia, get to know the name Marcus Harris, cross your fingers and pray.
Australian cricket selectors have unveiled the 14-man squad for the first two of the four Tests against India this summer, and it looks like this:
Aaron Finch, Pat Cummins, Peter Handscomb, Marcus Harris, Josh Hazlewood (vc), Travis Head, Usman Khawaja, Nathan Lyon, Mitch Marsh (vc), Shaun Marsh, Tim Paine (c, wk), Mitchell Starc, Chris Tremain, Peter Siddle.
The two big surprises are both Victorians -- opening batsman Marcus Harris and fast bowler Chris Tremain, who pleased those from the land of the big V.
Harris, 25, is one of the few Australian batsmen with consistent performances in the Sheffield Shield state competition in recent seasons. He put together 1,514 runs at an average of 42.05 last season, and so far this year, had notched 437 runs at a very healthy average of 87.40 in four outings.
Queenslander Matthew Renshaw was tipped to earn a recall, but he hasn't done a whole lot this year and Harris has leapfrogged him. Justin Langer said a month ago that spots were open, and so it has proven.
Left-handed Harris only averages 35 in 67 first class matches, but these are tough times, and current form is worth lots in the eyes of the selectors.
While Harris seems almost certain to play the first Test -- although Usman Khawaja could open with the recalled Peter Handscomb in the middle order -- Tremain will likely earn a baggy green only if one of the pacemen is injured.
Originally from Dubbo in NSW, the 27-year-old right-armer has played four One Day Internationals previously for his country.
Meanwhile, Shaun and Mitch Marsh both retained their favoured status with selectors despite a dearth of runs in recent times.
More to come.