Warner to play 1st Test, Henriques set for debut
Chennai: The suspense over David Warner's availability for the first Test against India ended today with Australia naming him in the playing XI, which will also see all-rounder Moises Henriques making his debut in baggy green.
The announcement for the February 22-26 match followed days of speculation over the availability of the big-hitting opener who was recovering from a thumb injury. He is now preparing to bat with a splint.
Warner had yesterday said he was confident of recovering from the injury before the start of first match.
"I'm confident of playing the first Test. I caught about 50 per cent (balls during practice) and there was a slight pain. And I would be using a guard to protect my thumb in the Tests," Warner had said.
Portuguese-born all-rounder Henriques is line for a Test debut ahead of another uncapped player Glenn Maxwell, who has been named the 12th man.
Speedster 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 tourists will, however, surprisingly field only one frontline spinner in Nathan Lyon, with captain Michael Clarke and Warner expected to share the burden on slow-bowling front.
The other two spinners — Xavier Doherty and Ashton Agar — have not been considered for the opening game of the four-match series.
The 26-year-old Henriques, who will become the 432nd player to make his debut, looked in good form in Australia's two warm-up matches, scoring 16 and 33 in addition to taking 4-12 and 1-30 with the ball.
Warner will in likelihood open the batting with the solid Ed Cowan, followed by Phil Hughes, Watson and Clarke in the middle-order.
Team: Michael Clarke (Capt), Ed Cowan, Moises Henriques, Phil Hughes, Nathan Lyon, James Pattinson, Peter Siddle, Mitchell Starc, Matthew Wade, David Warner, Shane Watson.