Mitchell Marsh dropped by Australia for series opener against India


In the absence of Steve Smith and David Warner, India has been talked up a lot.

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

Marsh's place has been taken by middle-order batsman Peter Handscomb - who has been recalled for the first time since the tour of South Africa in March and April - meaning Australia will rely on three seamers.

"Just like the great Australian cricket team of 2001 felt and we just fell short (of winning in India) and we were able to (win in) 2004", Langer told Australian radio channel SEN's Whateley. "If the first Test goes in India's favour and the Indian batsmen get amongst the runs, then I think it will be a series which India will win comfortably".

It is also surprising that India has opted for just one spinner and that is the experienced Ravichandran Ashwin and they have not gone for the wrist spinner in Kuldeep Yadav.

Warne's social media post read: "Excited for the 1st test match here in Adelaide that starts today".

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The Senate vote came after a closed-door briefing by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis. The Senate voted 63-37 to pass the procedural vote, which will set up a floor debate on the resolution next week.

In the wake of the tampering scandal, Australia vowed to overhaul their infamous win-at-all-costs attitude, tone down the sledging and be more respectful.

Opening the batting with the likes of Aaron Finch and youngster Marcus Harris is always a risk.

Paine said his message to the team was to keep their cool but also play to their strengths. "I'm sure there will be opportunities at times when we can hopefully put their spinners under pressure and try and put some big overs into their fast bowlers", Paine said.

Archie Schiller will be part of the squad for the Boxing Day Test match against the subcontinent giants that will start on December 26 at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG).

But veteran opener Murali Vijay, who was dropped following a pair in the second Test against England this year, rose to the challenge with a century in the same match and is expected to face the new ball with KL Rahul. "They got through the Ashes previous year I thought and bowled a hell of a lot of overs", he said.