Right before every big test series, the hottest topic at post training chats and dinner table discussion seems to be debate about who will and won't (or who should and shouldn't) play in the opening test.
Especially when embarking on a series such as India where different conditions can be cause for changes, even if the side was successful in it's last series as Australia was....
So a day out from the series opener against India, we thought it would be a good idea to spark some debate (orrrr is it..? ) and put down our Test 11 and why we'd select them!
Here goes nothing...we'd love to hear your opinion!
AUSTRALIAN CRICKET INSTITUTE'S INDIAN TEST 11
David Warner - No brainer really.. Warner will be vital to our batting line up which boasts some relatively new faces to the subcontinent. Need a big series for him for us to compete.
Matthew Renshaw - Big tall leftie has been topic of discussion for the lead up in the series.. Will he play? Won't he? We back the selector's to keep him in the side after almost becoming the second youngest player in history to score a double century. Be interesting to see if the sweep shot that he and Hayden have spoken about will come out to play. Big test.
Shaun Marsh- Great lead up form in the trial game and knows the conditions really well. Has great experience playing in India and has had good success over here at test and IPL level. After scoring runs in Australias last sub continent series, he looks set to play.
Steve Smith - No Brainer again, the leader of the pack. Good trial form also and will look to assert his dominance on the spinning wickets. A key player for Australia.
Peter Handscomb - Probably one of our best players of spin. Becoming a lock in the middle order after his great start to his test career. Will look to add grit and fight in the middle order when the ball is older and spinning/reversing. Has a simple game plan but his ability to stick to it and his mental toughness I think will keep him in the contest.
Mitch Marsh- Good performances in the trial with bat and ball. Will give relief to the quicks and hopefully chip in with some handy reverse swing. Needs to fire with the bat though.
Matthew Wade - Good batting performance in the trial, only keeper in the touring party apart from part timer Handscomb. Will look for some big batting performances to help out the top order. Crucial role with the gloves up and back to the stumps.
Mitchell Starc -LOCK. The spearhead, will be dangerous with pace and reverse swing with old ball. Hopefully his performances in Sri Lanka can continue on in India.
Josh Hazlewood - LOCK. Our other mainstay in the attack. Well rested and ready to go.
Nathan Lyon- The greatest spinner of all time for Australia...will come into his element here with turning wickets. Will be interesting to see how the big guns in India handle him, we think they'll be going really hard at him from the word go. Our success I think will be determined by Lyon and Starc's performances with the ball and how the others support them.
Mitchell Swepson - The third Mitch in the side! Might be a little left field, but I think the wrist spin offers something different to the finger spin of Lyon and also other's in waiting (O'Keefe and Agar). Right behind the young fella and hopefully if given the opportunity will relish it.
So there it is.. It will be interesting to see who get's the nod in the end. We'll be barracking for all who get selected none the less.
Will be interesting to see how we hold up against some of the best batsmen and spinners in the world in their own backyard.
Author: Joel Hamilton - ACI Coach