Ryan Harris was a late exclusion from the squad putting him in doubt for the first Test, as Australia reached 6-440 at stumps on day one against Essex.

Last week it was Shaun Marsh putting his case forward for an Ashes call up, while yesterday brother Mitch Marsh was the star of the show, scoring an unbeaten 136, to keep the pressure on Shane Watson for the squad's all-rounder position.

David Warner (94), Shane Watson (52) and Peter Nevill (78) all chimed in with half centuries, while Adam Voges was run out for 49, in another positive day for Australia in the lead up to the Ashes.

The only bad news was the exclusion of strike bowler Ryan Harris. The Australian spearhead, who was replaced in the side by Peter Siddle, has spent the last six months on a strict program to ensure he is fit and firing come Ashes time. However, that all came undone when he pulled up sore after a practice session yesterday before the start of day's play.

Coach Darren Lehmann said that they decided not to risk Harris with the first Test only a week away.

"We pulled him out because he's sore, he's going to get some scans done and we'll have a better idea in a day or two," Lehmann said.

See the full scorecard from day one here at Cricket.com.au