Mitch Marsh dropped for first Test against India

India tour of Australia 2018

Welcome to our live report for the opening Test from Adelaide as the eagerly anticipated series between Australia and India gets underway.

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

This is somewhat of a gamble to take in the first day Test at Adelaide Oval in four years, particularly if Virat Kohli calls correctly at the toss and bats first with temperatures expected to soar to 39 on Thursday and into the mid-30s the following day.

"Mitch Marsh probably just hasn't been as consistent as he would like and we would like", Paine told a news conference on Wednesday.

The scandal in March has haunted Australian cricket, with Steve Smith and David Warner banned and a swathe of executives from the governing body axed or falling on their swords in the aftermath.

Opener Marcus Harris will make his Test debut, while Travis Head will bat at number six for Australia.

More news: Euro 2020 draw: Republic of Ireland manager McCarthy 'happy enough' with draw

"Absolutely, India will start favourites in the Test series".

They have made a significant change to their team by dropping one of their frontline bowlers and going with just four - Ashwin, Shami, Sharma and Bumrah - which may mean Hanuma Vihari gets the nod at number six to add another part-time spin option if required.

"The wicket over relays few years here has given enough over the game, we've got a lot of confidence in Nathan Lyon bowling a lot of overs if he needs to", Paine said.

Paine was dismissive of questions over whether Starc, Hazlewood and Cummins would be capable of standing up to the workload, given their micro-managed preparation for this assignment.

India's past Test record in Australia is quite abysmal. In fact, they were top of the table when he began reporting on them but things went dramatically downhill. "This time around, we hope we don't disappoint our fans", Rohit said. They will be bowling big overs if need be, and they are totally comfortable with that.

Most encouragingly, Australia is back on home turf where the likes of Mitchell Starc, Pat Cummins, Josh Hazlewood and Nathan Lyon flourish.

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