Shaun Marsh has crafted a century to all but nail down a Test recall, while captain Steve Smith has also set down a marvellous subcontinent marker in Australia's first game on their tour of India.

Close
Stop Video Replay 0:32

Khawaja set to be dropped for first Test

UP NEXT

VIDEO Khawaja set to be dropped for first Test. 7Sport Khawaja set to be dropped for first Test

Smith retired on 107 at tea on day one of the tourists' three-day clash with India A, having been sent in at Mumbai's Brabourne Stadium.

Marsh showed why he was poised to dislodge Usman Khawaja from the Test side, retiring on 104 late in Friday's final session.

The 33-year-old is yet to speak with coach Darren Lehmann or chairman of selectors Trevor Hohns regarding their plans for the first Test, which starts in Pune on Thursday.

But he has every reason to feel bullish about the prospect of playing his first Test since breaking a finger at the WACA three months ago.

"As individuals and a team it always gives you a bit of confidence when you have a good day in the warm-up game," Marsh said.

"It (batting with Smith) certainly does calm your nerves, he's a fantastic player.

"It was nice to spend some time out in the middle ... it was a pretty good wicket."

Australia were 5-327 at stumps, recovering well after the early loss of openers David Warner and Matt Renshaw.

Smith and Marsh, the only two Australians to score hundreds during a miserable 3-0 series loss last year in Sri Lanka, both enhanced their subcontinent reputations in a 156-run stand.

"It (the subcontinent) is a place I've always enjoyed coming to ... I feel comfortable," Marsh said.

The green-tinged pitch represents the antithesis of what the visitors expect to encounter in the four-Test series opener.

Likewise, the bowlers weren't nearly as threatening as India's spin aces Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja - the best and second-best Test bowlers in the world according to the ICC's rankings.

But the ease with which Smith picked gaps and stroked 13 boundaries in his first hit on tour, as the temperature neared 40 degrees celsius, was nonetheless impressive.

The gifted right-hander donned a floppy hat while handling left-arm spinner Shahbaz Nadeem with authority, reaching three figures in a tick over three hours during his 100th first-class game.

The stakes were obviously higher for Marsh, who was just as comfortable facing Nadeem.

It had been unclear if and how selectors would fit the veteran into the XI for the first Test. The answer seemingly came when Khawaja was the one specialist batsman in Australia's 16-man touring party left to run drinks in the tourists' only tune-up before the first Test.

Khawaja was dumped after two Tests in Sri Lanka last year, while Marsh scored 130 in Colombo on the same tour. It appears selectors still harbour concerns about Khawaja's ability to play spin bowling - especially in Asia, where the left-hander averages 19.16 from four Tests.

Ashwin and Jadeja are widely regarded as two very good reasons why Australia will struggle in their search for the nation's first Test win in India since 2004.

However, there was no early trial by spin in Mumbai. Medium pacer Navdeep Saini removed Warner and Renshaw.

Both batsmen were caught behind, but in significantly different fashion. Warner's mistimed pull shot resulted in a skied edge, while Renshaw fell to a pinpoint delivery angled across his body.

AAP

More from 7Sport