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Selectors mull options for India Test tour

AAP logoAAP 7/01/2017 Rob Forsaith

National selectors are close to finalising a squad for the upcoming tour of India, but settling on an XI for the first Test is going to be a much tougher challenge.

Trevor Hohns' final assignment as interim chairman of selectors will be picking the subcontinent touring party, with Rod Marsh's long-term successor to be appointed following the four-Test series that starts in February.

The bulk of the XI that defeated Pakistan in the third Test at the SCG will be retained, with allrounder Hilton Cartwright the only player in doubt of missing the trip.

The major conundrum shapes as whether 20-year-old opener Matt Renshaw, who scored 184 at the SCG, is axed in favour of Shaun Marsh, who made a century in Sri Lanka in August.

"He's an exceptional young player ... it's a case of what's the best line-up to win in India," coach Darren Lehmann said.

"At the moment you'd say yes, he would play, but end of the day we have to sum up what the conditions are like, what the pitches are going to be like."

Marsh could yet be included in the side and bat at No.6, which was a revolving door this summer. Mitch Marsh, Callum Ferguson, Nic Maddinson and Cartwright were all tried in the middle order and for the most part struggled.

Jackson Bird and Ashton Agar will almost certainly be retained in what is likely to be a 15-man party, having been part of the squad in Sydney.

Selectors will meet later this week but Lehmann has confirmed there will be no reserve wicketkeeper in India, leaving Matthew Wade and Peter Nevill in a battle for one spot in the side.

"Pretty advanced," Lehmann said on Saturday, when asked how close selectors were to finalising a squad.

"We're pretty lucky with Pete Handscomb being able to be back up (keeper), that probably allows us to take a specialist and then him as back up.

"We know the captain is big on having variety in the attack, so we'll have to see what the make-up and wickets are like.

"But we'll certainly be playing two spinners."

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