Queenslander Joe Burns has won the nod to open the batting alongside Matthew Wade for the first Test of the summer.
Foxsports.com.au understands squad members was told at lunchtime on Wednesday of the selectors decision to retain Burns at the top of the order.
Cameron Green will bat at No.6, while Marcus Harris has missed out.
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Sore Smith skips training
Wade has never batted above No.5 for Australia in Test cricket before, but has been handed the job alongside Burns to combat India’s dangerous new ball bowlers.
Green (concussion) and Smith (back) are both expected to play, unless something unforeseen takes places on the morning of the match.
Burns averages less than 7 this season in First Class cricket and has won support in recent days from Ricky Ponting and Brad Haddin. He has four Test hundreds, while Harris was Australia’s leading runscorer in the last Border-Gavasker series two summers ago.
Australia is not expected to confirm the XI until the toss.
In the last 24 hours, Justin Langer and Tim Paine have both expressed a desire for stability in selection. Since it’s been more than 340 days since Australia played a Test, the selectors were keen to reward the incumbent.
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However Burns cannot afford too many more slip ups. Though he has four Test tons, David Warner’s groin is improving and the left-hander could return as soon as Boxing Day.
Selectors will be hesitant to drop Cameron Green after one Test, especially given the MCG’s docile pitch in recent years and the subsequent requirement for a fifth bowler.
As a result, Adelaide shapes as a potential ‘bat-off’ between Wade and Burns at the top of the order, with all other places seemingly locked in. Wade has moved up the order for Tasmania in recent times but only opens the batting in white ball cricket.
Smith hit balls in the nets on Wednesday after sitting out Tuesday’s session with a sore back. Green will be tested for concussion symptoms on the morning of the game but sources are supremely confident he will be fit to debut.
Elsewhere in the squad, James Pattinson is next in line as a bowler, while Moises Henriques is back in the mix as a reserve batsman.
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