Australia vs India: What the pundits are predicting for the Test series

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Marsh's place has been taken by middle-order batsman Peter Handscomb - who has been recalled for the first time since the tour of South Africa in March and April - meaning Australia will rely on three seamers.

Twelve months ago the selectors chose Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood, Pat Cummins and Nathan Lyon as their sole four bowlers for the opening two Tests against England, before Marsh was called in as a reinforcement from the time of the third match onwards. Yes, they will miss Warner and Steve Smith, but that confidence level, the attitude and the approach you expect of an Australian player, an Australian team - the character of the Australian sides against whom I played - that character is not obvious in this Australian team.

"Mitch Marsh has not been as consistent as he would like and we would like", said Paine at his pre-match press conference.

"We know the talent Mitch has, we know most likely at some stage in this series we'll need him".

India suffered a huge blow ahead of the first Test with young opener Prithvi Shaw ruled out after suffering ankle ligament damage during their final warm-up game against a Cricket Australia XI.

Archie Schiller will be part of the squad for the Boxing Day Test match against the subcontinent giants that will start on December 26 at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG).

The Aussie batting may be in tatters but they have four world class bowlers in Josh Hazlewood, Mitchell Starc, Pat Cummins and spinner Nathan Lyon.

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"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.

"And probably the fact that all our three quicks go in real fresh". Without them, India could have a golden opportunity to break their series drought.

"That's why I feel that India have got a big chance because they are a settled unit and they will be confident".

Marcus Harris will be making his Test debut at the top of the order with Aaron Finch.

"They're a good team and they've got a couple of great players and we will show them great respect", he said.

"We have options there but we'll be backing our bowlers", Paine said.

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