Marnus Labuschagne chats with Nathan Lyon. Picture: Rick Rycroft/AP
Marnus Labuschagne chats with Nathan Lyon. Picture: Rick Rycroft/AP

‘It’s not fair’: New duo dropped in fire

MARNUS Labuschagne will bat at first drop after being recalled to the Australian XI.

The Queensland batsmen was added to the Australian squad after the loss in Melbourne and identified as the man to replace the under-fire Aaron Finch.

Aussie coach Justin Langer told Fox Sports the 24-year-old - who made 81 runs in four innings against Pakistan in Dubai at No.6 - would bat at three.

"He's got a really sound technique so hopefully he can spend a lot of time in the middle," said Langer, noting first drop was where Labuschagne batted in the Sheffield Shield.

But former Aussie quick Brendon Julian and batsmen Mark Waugh were shocked by the news.

"I thought Shaun Marsh would bat three," Julian told Fox Sports.

Former Australian coach Darren Lehmann also criticised the decision to dump Finch.

"I would have given Finch one more chance in the middle order, it was a big call. I think he should have been given one more opportunity," Lehmann told Macquarie Sports Radio.

While the rest of the XI has still not been confirmed it likely means Usman Khawaja will open alongside Marcus Harris.

Peter Handscomb is also tipped for a recall at the expense of Mitch Marsh despite having his technique put under the microscope after failures in Adelaide and Perth.

"It's a very interesting selection to have Handscomb back, I'm very surprised at that," Shane Warne told Fox Sports. "I don't think it's fair on him - putting him out there when he's not ready."

Squads: Australia: Tim Paine (captain), Marcus Harris, Usman Khawaja, Shaun Marsh, Travis Head, Aaron Finch, Marnus Labuschagne, Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc, Nathan Lyon, Josh Hazlewood, Peter Handscomb, Mitch Marsh, Peter Siddle. India: Mayank Agarwal, KL Rahul, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli (captain), Ajinkya Rahane, Hanuma Vihari, Rishabh Pant, Ravindra Jadeja, Mohammed Shami, Jasprit Bumrah, Ravichandran Ashwin, Kuldeep Yadav, Umesh Yadav.

- AAP

News Corp Australia

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