Sheffield Shield - VIC v NSW: Day 4
MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - DECEMBER 04: Todd Murphy of Victoria prepares to bowl during the Sheffield Shield match between Victoria and New South Wales at CitiPower Centre, on December 04, 2022, in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Morgan Hancock/Getty Images)
Sheffield Shield - VIC v NSW: Day 4

The first Test of the Border-Gavaskar trophy will get underway in Nagpur on Thursday, with a dried out pitch and injuries forcing both teams to consider their selections.

Here is all the latest in selection news.

Todd Murphy likely to debut

Australia picked four spinners on their squad for Australia - three of them capped in Nathan Lyon, Mitchell Swepson and Ashton Agar, and Victorian young gun Todd Murphy.

Reports from Robert Craddock just over 24 hours out from the first Test suggest it will be Murphy to debut though.

The off-spinner, who is averaging under 20 with the ball in this year's Sheffield Shield, is yet to celebrate his 23rd birthday, but has already rubber-stamped his spot as Nathan Lyon's understudy and likely the man who will eventually become the first-choice spinner in Test cricket.

It would be the first time Australia have played two specialist right-arm off-spinners in a Test for 35 years.

Cameron Green unlikely to play

It had been heavily reported that Cameron Green was being considered as a specialist batsman at number six.

He fractured his finger during the final Test of the home summer against South Africa and is unable to bowl as yet, with the recovery still ongoing.

He had surgery to insert pins into the finger only five weeks ago, and while he did some fitness work during Australia's first training session in Nagpur, it's understood he is now unlikely to play, with Steve Smith revealing he hasn't faced fast bowlers yet.

"I don't think he is [going to play]," Smith said.

"I don't think he's even faced fast bowlers yet. So I dare say he won't be playing but who knows. I'm not entirely sure. We'll wait and see.

"But it's unlikely, I think."

India considering four spinners, Australia three

That said, facing fast bowlers may not be much of an issue.

Reports suggest Australia are weighing up the idea of playing three spinners, although it's unclear whether they would risk going into the Test with only one pace bowler in Pat Cummins.

Australia carried out the ploy of using a single pace bowler during their last tour of Bangladesh in 2017. On that occasion, the team saw Cummins joined by Nathan Lyon (who took the new ball and 13 wickets in the match), Steve O'Keefe and Ashton Agar as the specialist bowlers, while Glenn Maxwell and Hilton Cartwright were also in the side.

It's understood Murphy and Lyon could be joined by either Ashton Agar or Mitch Swepson in the side for the first Test of the series, with Cummins - as captain - again serving as the only quick.

No Cameron Green could throw a spanner in the works though, unless Australia opt to bat Agar at number seven.

Handscomb the likely replacement at number six for Australia

Peter Handscomb has been earmarked as the likely replacement for Cameron Green at number six.

His ability against spin is clear, while he is also among the leading run-scorers over the last 24 months at Sheffield Shield level.

Of his 16 Tests, six have been in the sub-continent, and he scored 146 runs during the 2017 tour of Bangladesh, while also playing all four Tests against India in the same year. He averaged almost 35 with the bat in the sub-continent.

His form at Sheffield Shield level makes a tantalising case, but so does the first look at the pitch, which appears to have been heavily doctored to work against left-handed batsmen - of which Australia have plenty, including both openers David Warner and Usman Khawaja, middle-order option Travis Head, and wicket-keeper Alex Carey.

Handscomb's direct competition for number six is Matt Renshaw, who is also a left-handed batsman, which will likely push Handscomb ahead in the running order for the final spot in the side.

The toss will be held at 2:30pm (AEDT) on Thursday afternoon.