| Sachin Tendulkar in Chennai, on Wednesday |
Calcutta/Chennai: All-rounder Moises Henriques has been handed a Test debut ahead of Glenn Maxwell for the first of the four-match series, starting here on Friday.
James Pattinson, whose summer was cut short by a side injury, has been recalled as the third fast bowler alongside Mitchell Starc and Peter Siddle.
The visitors will, however, field only one frontline spinner in Nathan Lyon, with captain Michael Clarke and opener David Warner expected to share the burden on the slow-bowling front.
Henriques, who will become the 432nd player to wear the baggy green, looked in good form in Australia’s two warm-up matches, with bowling figures of 4/12 and 1/30, besides scores of 16 and 33.
The 26-year-old has won the race for the all-rounder’s spot ahead of fellow uncapped player Maxwell, who’s been named 12th man.
The swashbuckling Warner, too, has been named in the playing XI despite there being doubts about his recovery from a fractured thumb.
Warner will, in likelihood, open the batting with Ed Cowan, followed by Phil Hughes, Watson and Clarke in the middle-order.
A confident Henriques, meanwhile, said that his bowling and batting techniques suits the subcontinent conditions and that he would look to make the most of the them.
“When I was a young, I used to be a tearaway bowler... Then, having suffered a lot of injuries, I had to adapt and change things to suit my body.
“ I am now trying my best to be consistent with my lengths and get some movement… Also some reverse swing… I think that obviously does very well here,” Henriques, who has had his stints in the IPL, said.
“I have plans in batting as well... I wanted to put the pressure back on the Indian spinners in the practice games. I thought that was the right thing to do at that stage. Unfortunately, I missed out on that pretty good opportunity there,” Henriques said.
Henriques has the experience of playing in India. Apart from playing ODIs, he also played in the IPL and is a former Kolkata Knight Riders player. But the all-rounder believes that the Test format will be a totally different ball game.
“I am aware of conditions here… I have got some plans in place and would try them. But the wickets for T20 cricket are completely different and there is not much spin in the shorter format. I think the conditions for the Test matches will be completely different,” he said.
“My role in the side is pretty good… To go out there I have a big role to play with the bat and the ball. I say that I am a genuine all-rounder and to go out and do as much as I can with the bat and the ball,” he added.
Expressing his fondness for India, the all-rounder said: “India is a place I love to come and play... I have got a lot of good memories from playing cricket here, and otherwise as well.
Asked about the Indian line-up in the absence of Rahul Dravid and VVS Laxman, the Australian said: “I have been lucky enough to play against a lot of Indian batsmen like Virat Kohli and Cheteshwar Pujara… I have seen them play a lot and these guys are fantastic cricketers," he said.