In-form Victoria batsman Marcus Harris made his way to the 14-member Australian squad for the first two Tests of the upcoming four-match series against India, which will start on December 6.
Harris' inclusion did not come as a surprise as the 26-year-old has scored 437 runs with an impressive average of 87.50 in the Sheffield Shield tournament, this season. This also includes an innings of unbeaten 250 runs against New South Wales, last month.
Reflecting on Harris' selection, chairman of selectors Trevor Hohns said that the player "forced his way into the squad" following his impressive performance in the domestic season. He further stated that Harris has got the abilities that are required to be successful in Test cricket.
"Marcus Harris has forced his way into the squad after an impressive start to the Sheffield Shield campaign for Victoria, and in recent times has performed in high-pressure matches, including Sheffield Shield finals," Cricket.com.au quoted Hohns, as saying.
"Not only has he made plenty of runs, he's displayed the mental application we believe is required to compete at Test cricket," he added.
Other notable inclusion came in the form of right-hand batsman Peter Handscomb who has been called back to the team after being left out from UAE tour. The chairman of selectors said that the batsman was picked up because of his consistent performance in the domestic circuit.
"Peter Handscomb has been recalled after missing out on the tour to the UAE. He's been one of Victoria's most consistent performers with the bat through the JLT Cup and Sheffield Shield. He's a well-respected member of the dressing room, a calm head at the crease and has also played against India at Test level," Hohns said.
Clearing the air on the availability of left-hand batsman Usman Khawaja, who is recovering from a knee injury, Hohns that "all the signs are indicating he will be available for the first Test."
"We've been really impressed with the way Usman Khawaja has applied himself through his rehabilitation and he's left no stone unturned in his bid to return in Adelaide. Barring any setbacks, all the signs are indicating he will be available for the first Test," Hohns said.
Keeping their options wide open for the first two Tests, Australia have picked up a squad that include six specialist batsmen and five fast bowlers.
With the selection of pace quartet of Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood, Pat Cummins, and Nathan Lyon, the Australian bowling attack is all set to pose threat to the Indian batsmen.
Indian and Australia will play each other in a four-match Test series which is slated to be held from December 6 to January 7.
Following is the full Australia Test squad for the first two matches against India:
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.