Debutant ... Moises Henriques. Photo: Getty Images
Portuguese-born Moises Henriques will make his Test debut against India on Friday, with his ability to exert reverse swing and his aggressive middle order batting winning the battle to be Australia's new all-rounder ahead of Glenn Maxwell.
The NSW 26-year-old starred in Australia's warm-up matches - taking 4-12, all top-order wickets, in one devastating spell - and has earned the nod from selectors as the tourists put their faith in seam not spin. Australia have named three pacemen, preferring James Pattinson over Mitchell Johnson, while David Warner will play through the pain of a thumb injury. Nathan Lyon is the only specialist spinner in the XI.
"I lost a little bit of sleep last night just thinking about it," Henriques said. "Hopefully the next two nights are a bit calmer but I can't imagine they would be.his It wasn't really in my list of goals at the start of this Shield season but things have sped up the process and I can't say how much I'm looking forward to the opportunity."
Henriques made his one-day international debut for Australia in 2009 but has endured a series of injury ordeals since then including a shoulder reconstruction, ankle and groin surgery and oblique and hamstring tears that have stalled his rise before now. However, there were signs early this season that he could mount a case for a Test call-up, with a blistering 161 in the Sheffield Shield for NSW.
"There has been a lot of injuries and in amongst those injuries there has been some inconsistent form as well," he said. "Being able to stay on the park for the last six months has really helped my performances and helped my consistency."
Australia: Ed Cowan, David Warner, Phil Hughes, Shane Watson, Michael Clarke (c), Matthew Wade, Moises Henriques, James Pattinson, Mitchell Starc, Peter Siddle, Nathan Lyon. 12th man: Glenn Maxwell.