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Five key questions for national selectors

AAP logoAAP 7/01/2017

1) Who should open alongside David Warner in India, Matt Renshaw or Shaun Marsh?

This will be a big test of Cricket Australia's stated 'horses for courses' selection policy. Renshaw scored 184 at the SCG and has thoroughly impressed in four Tests but is 20 years old and lacks experience on the subcontinent. In contrast, two of Marsh's four Test tons came in Sri Lanka and he has travelled throughout India because of the Indian Premier League.

2) Which spinners should be taken to India? Nathan Lyon and Steve O'Keefe are certainties to be selected in the touring party. Ashton Agar is also considered a very good chance of a call-up, having joined the squad and worked on his left-arm spin in the SCG nets prior to the recent Test. Glenn Maxwell, who made his Test debut during the 2013 tour of India, remains on the selectors' radar.

3) Who should be given the gloves in the Test side, Matthew Wade or Peter Nevill? This is among selectors' most pressing issues. Lehmann has all but confirmed only one specialist keeper will be picked in the squad to tour India. That means the decision to recall Nevill, a superior gloveman, or retain Wade, a more vocal stumper, must be made during the upcoming ODI series. Wade has failed to post a big Test score since his call-up.

4) When is the right time to rest Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazlewood? This one is more for team medicos, but selectors won't want to lose their two most important bowlers for too long. Hazlewood, generally reluctant to miss games, has already spoken of the value of resting before a four-Test series in India. The dream scenario for all parties may be for the new-ball pairing to help wrap up the series with three straight wins then skip two dead rubbers.

5) Which Test players should travel to New Zealand for the ODI series that follows the 50-over action at home? The start of the Test squad's pre-India training camp in Dubai clashes with a week-long ODI series. As such, it's unlikely to be a full-strength team that crosses the Tasman. Steve Smith, David Warner, Usman Khawaja, Starc and Hazlewood should arguably all be focused on adapting to subcontinental conditions, but it's hard to imagine selectors will happily remove all five from the 50-over side.

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