Australia's Matthew Wade walks from the pitch after being caught by Jonny Bairstow for 33 off the bowling of England's Ben Stokes the second day of the 3rd Ashes Test cricket match between England and Australia at Headingcaught by ley cricket ground in Leeds, England, Friday, Aug. 23, 2019. (AP Photo/Jon Super)
Australia's Matthew Wade walks from the pitch after being caught by Jonny Bairstow for 33 off the bowling of England's Ben Stokes the second day of the 3rd Ashes Test cricket match between England and Australia at Headingcaught by ley cricket ground in Leeds, England, Friday, Aug. 23, 2019. (AP Photo/Jon Super)

The batsmen most likely to miss Ashes Test

Test opener Marcus Harris was quarantined from his teammates on the final day of the tour game in Derby with a stomach bug.

But it remains unclear whether he will be separated from them again when the fourth Test starts at Manchester.

The mandatory inclusion of Steve Smith for the match has created a selection conundrum and the 62 runs Harris scored against an uninspiring Derbyshire bowling attack could have had no effect whatsoever.

Stream over 50 sports Live & On-Demand with KAYO SPORTS on your TV, computer, mobile or tablet. Just $25/month, no lock-in contract. Get your 14-day free trial and start streaming instantly >

 

 

Marcus Harris (top) looks like missing out on a spot at the top of the order to Usman Khawaja (bottom) despite scoring runs against Derbyshire. Picture: Nathan Stirk/Getty Images
Marcus Harris (top) looks like missing out on a spot at the top of the order to Usman Khawaja (bottom) despite scoring runs against Derbyshire. Picture: Nathan Stirk/Getty Images

 

 

Usman Khawaja, another potential omission for Smith, opened the batting with Harris against the county team, scoring 72.

But selection chief Trevor Hohns said that was a matter of circumstance only, although he conceded Khawaja "can open" in the Test if required.

Hohns, however, shed little light on what he and coach Justin Langer might actually do other than pick a "balanced team" to win at Manchester, a victory that would see Australia retain the Ashes.

 

 

Australian Chairman of Selectors Trevor Hohns (L) and coach Justin Langer (C) must decide who makes way for the return of Steve Smith (R). Picture: Ryan Pierse/Getty Images
Australian Chairman of Selectors Trevor Hohns (L) and coach Justin Langer (C) must decide who makes way for the return of Steve Smith (R). Picture: Ryan Pierse/Getty Images

 

 

"The area up the top is, not so much concerning, it's been difficult for both teams up the top of the order so once again that's an area we'll be looking at," Hohns said.

"But it has been difficult up top for both teams, the opening bowlers with that new ball, conditions that seem to have prevailed, it has been very, very difficult for any player who has batted in the top three.

"We are mindful of that. We are also mindful of the England bowlers have bowled very well to our guys, particularly our left-handers, so we will certainly look at that as well.

"Whether it's up the top or in the middle … we'll sit down and go through the why's and what if's, if we play this person, who's suited better to what particular area of our batting line-up."

 

 

Matthew Wade is struggling to hold hsi position in the Test squad after making just 40 runs in four innings since his 110 at Edgbaston. Picture: AP Photo/Jon Super
Matthew Wade is struggling to hold hsi position in the Test squad after making just 40 runs in four innings since his 110 at Edgbaston. Picture: AP Photo/Jon Super

 

 

After three consecutive 50s after coming in as a replacement for Smith, Marnus Labuschagne was a "prime contender" for the team according to Hohns, which makes him a lock.

But number six Wade might not be as secure in his position with just 40 runs in four innings since his 110 at Edgbaston. Wade made a streaky 12 in the tour match.

"He played very well that innings he made a hundred. Unfortunately things have not quote gone his way since then," Hohns said.

"That will certainly be an area we are having a look at."

The Australians travelled to Manchester as soon as the tour match finished, and will resume training on Monday.