Justin Langer talks up Marcus Harris ahead of Adelaide debut

Written by Abhishek Patil

Victoria batsman Marcus Harris is expected to be handed his Baggy Green in the first Test against India.

“We’re pretty sure Marcus Harris will make his debut which is very exciting for him,” Justin Langer, the Australia head coach, told SEN radio.

The left-hander has amassed 4153 runs in 68 first-class matches at an average of 35.49 with a highest score of 250*.

“He’s scored 500 runs in Shield cricket in eight innings, that’s a great way to go into a Test match. He’s a terrific young player and he’s looked very good in some of the most competitive net sessions I’ve seen for a long time in Australian cricket. He’s looked very composed.”

Langer added that the management is yet to make a decision between Peter Handscomb and Mitchell Marsh for the “last batting spot” in the Australian playing XI.

“We’ll make the decision on the last batting spot later today. At this stage, I’d say it’ll be either Peter Handscomb or Mitchell Marsh who’ll take the five or six position,” he explained. “We’ll have a look at that and come up with a decision later on today.”

While this seems like India’s best chance to clinch their first series in Australia, Langer feels that the visitors’ past record Down Under will still put them “under great pressure”.

“They’re a good team and they’ve got a couple of great players and we will show them great respect,” he acknowledged. “They haven’t had great success in Australia in the past, as Australia haven’t had in India. It will be a new set of circumstances for them.

“They’ll also be under great pressure I think. You sense they’re smelling blood, like the great Australian cricket team of 2001 felt and we just fell short and we were able to (win in India in) 2004. You sense these moments. I’m sensing India feel that.

“That said, they’re up against a really talented young Australian cricket team who have got plenty to prove. We’ve been through so much in the last nine months. We’ve been rolling our sleeves up, we’ve got plenty to prove as well.”

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Abhishek Patil