India are set to play the much-awaited four-match Test series against Australia beginning on the 9th of February. Both countries are currently ranked 1st and 2nd with Australia claiming the top spot in the ongoing ICC World Test Championship 2023 cycle. Ahead of the crucial Border-Gavaskar Trophy, Aussie skipper Pat Cummins expressed that they are not 100 per cent sure about how the combination of bowlers will be picked for the game. He also said that the team is not fretting over its spin combination as it has enough options to support veteran off-spinner, Nathan Lyon
The touring Australians have named Mitchell Swepson along with finger spinner Ashton Agar to team up with Lyon.
“We’ve got plenty of options here (with) finger spin, wrist spin, left arm (pace) when (Mitchell) Starcy comes back,” Cummins told. We’ll obviously pick the bowlers that we think are going to take 20 wickets. But how we split that up, we’re not 100 per cent sure yet,” he added.
Asked if it would be a two-pronged spin attack, he said: “I wouldn’t say it’s a given. Obviously, it’s very condition-dependent. Particularly in the first test, once we get to Nagpur we will see that.”
The Australian team is currently busy practicing at the KSCA Cricket Ground in Alur, on the outskirts of Bengaluru. All the players of the visiting team have been seen sweating it out on the nets at this venue since Thursday.
“The good thing is someone like Agar was in our last team, Swepson played the last two overseas tour, so a bit of experience.
“Murphy played in the last tour. We feel that we got a lot of support in that department for Lyon.”
Cummins pointed out that middle-order batter Travis Head also offers an off-spin option.
“Travis Head also bowls really good offspin. We have to balance things. We have got plenty of variety there to choose from. We have not locked in any bowling line-up so far.”
Cummins also spoke about their intimidating pace bowling attack.
“I think sometimes, talking about a couple of spinners, you forget how good a lot of our fast bowlers have been in all conditions. Even some of the SCG wickets, there haven’t been a lot in them for quick bowlers, but the quick bowlers have found a way,” he added.
India’s Test squad for the first two Tests against Australia: Rohit Sharma (Captain), KL Rahul (vice-captain), Shubman Gill, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli, Shreyas Iyer, KS Bharat (wk), Ishan Kishan (wk), R. Ashwin, Axar Patel, Kuldeep Yadav, Ravindra Jadeja, Mohd. Shami, Mohd. Siraj, Umesh Yadav, Jaydev Unadkat, Suryakumar Yadav.
Australia Test squad: Pat Cummins (capt), Ashton Agar, Scott Boland, Alex Carey, Cameron Green, Peter Handscomb, Josh Hazlewood, Travis Head, Usman Khawaja, Marnus Labuschagne, Nathan Lyon, Lance Morris, Todd Murphy, Matthew Renshaw, Steve Smith, Mitchell Starc, Mitchell Swepson, David Warner