Pat Cummins will captain Australia’s Test side which will play the Border-Gavaskar Trophy here starting February 9. Steve Smith has been named as his deputy for the four-match Test series. David Warner retains his place too while Mitchell Starc and Cameron Green were named in the 18-man strong squad too on Wednesday. Both Starc and Greeb are healing their respective finger injuries currently. Australia are taking Jozh Hazlewood and Scott Boland to India as well. Peter Handscomb, Matt Renshaw have also made the cut while Usman Khawaja, Marnus Labuschagne and Travid Head will definitely feature in the starting XI for first Test.
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Murphy joins experienced campaigner Ashton Agar and Mitchell Swepson as potential spin partners for Nathan Lyon on a tour on which their bowling resources are expected to be stretched to the full. Agar has recently made it back to the Test squad and played the third and final Test against South Africa and continues to be preferred as the national selectors confirmed an 18-player squad for the four-Test Border-Gavaskar series.
An 18-player Test squad has been assembled for the Qantas Tour of India in February and March.
Swepson had played four of Australia`s five Tests on the subcontinent last year for a return of 10 wickets at 45 and was favoured over white-ball leg-spinner Adam Zampa. The Australian men`s team will play Test matches in Nagpur, New Delhi, Dharamshala and Ahmedabad in February/March. A squad for three one-day internationals will be announced at a later date.
Besides boosting their spin attack, the Australian selectors also bolstered their batting for playing against spin by including Peter Handscomb in the side.
“Peter Handscomb, Todd Murphy and Mitchell Swepson have been added from the last Test match in Sydney while Cameron Green and Mitchell Starc have been named in expectation of successful respective returns from injury. Marcus Harris missed selection,” Cricket Australia informed in a release on Wednesday.
Australia squad for India Tests: Pat Cummins (captain), Steve Smith (vice-captain), Ashton Agar, Scott Boland, Alex Carey, Cameron Green, Peter Handscomb, Josh Hazlewood, Travis Head, Usman Khawaja, Marnus Labuschagne, Nathan Lyon, Lance Morris, Todd Murphy, Matthew Renshaw, Mitchell Starc, Mitchell Swepson, David Warner.
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