‘Australia has plenty of options in spin department’
Bengaluru, Feb 4: Australia captain Pat Cummins on Saturday said his team is not fretting over its spin combination as it has enough options to support veteran off-spinner Nathan Lyon in the high-profile four-match Test series against India beginning in Nagpur on Thursday.
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 reporters in his first media interaction after arriving in India.
“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.”
Asked if it would be a two-pronged spin attack, he said: “I wouldn’t say it’s a given. Obviously it’s very conditions dependent. Particularly in the first test, once we get to Nagpur we will see that.”
The Australians are here for a training camp before heading to Nagpur on Monday.
“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.”
The 29-year-old Cummins pointed out that middle-order batter Travis Head also offers off-spin option.
“Travis Head also bowls really good offspin. We have to balance things. We have got a plenty of variety there to choose from. We have not locked in any bowling line-up so far.” While there is so much talk about spin bowling, Cummins said his side should not forget 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.
Cummins has come a long way since he made a Test comeback after six years in Ranchi during the last tour of India in 2017.
An injury-prone Cummins then dished out a hostile spell to dismiss the star Indian trio of KL Rahul, Virat Kohli and Ajinkya Rahane en route to figures of 4/106.
“It was my first test in six years. I just wanted to reaffirm that’s where I wanted to be in Test cricket. I really enjoyed that spell, you can’t be worried about your body or different things. You just got to go all out. I really enjoyed that.
“Test cricket can be really, really harsh. you have got to accept that it’s going to be grinding times, and you got to be out for it and embrace that challenge. Coming here to India when a lot of the talks are around, big spinning wicket, it’s not always the case.
“You need to get into the grind at times. That role of the fast bowler, bowling a lot of overs for not a heap of reward but doing your job for your team. I really enjoy that aspect of the last tour. Much to play for this time,” he said. (PTI)
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