Oz mull three-pronged spin attack

Chittagong : Australian captain Steve Smith has said he is considering fielding three spinners in the must-win Test against Bangladesh after their shock loss on a turning wicket in the series opener.

Australia suffered their first-ever Test defeat against Bangladesh last week and are desperate to restore some lost pride when the teams meet in the second and final Test starting in Chittagong on Monday.

Bangladesh, ranked ninth in the ICC Test rankings to Australia’s fourth, are hoping to shed their underdog status with a series sweep against Smith’s men. Overcoming the home team’s spinners is one of Australia’s biggest challenges.

All but one of Australia’s 20 wickets in the series opener fell to spin, and the Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium pitch in Chittagong is expected to favour slow bowling.

Australia have recalled left-arm spinner Steve O’Keefe for the injured Josh Hazlewood and could play him alongside their frontline spinners Nathan Lyon and Ashton Agar.

Smith said no final decisions had been made, with rain interrupting their last training session Sunday and preventing an inspection of the wicket. But the skipper hinted at fielding a spin attack.

“I think the inclusion of O’Keefe into the squad is a good one. It gives us the option to play three spinners if we like,” Smith told reporters in Chittagong.

“Obviously Bangladesh did that against us last week. If the wicket is spinning it’s really a good option and there is a possibility we go on with that,” said Smith.

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