Melbourne : Cricket Australia on Sunday picked four spinners in its 16-man Test squad for the rigorous four-match series against India away starting on February 23, determined to strike a combination that will deliver at the spin-heavy sub-continental conditions.
Apart from off-spinner Nathan Lyon and left-arm spinner Stephen O’Keefe, other slow bowlers featuring in the squad are uncapped Queensland leg-spinner Mitchell Swepson and recalled West Australia’s left-arm spinner Ashton Agar.
Selector Trevor Hohns said in a CA release that the panel chose an additional spin bowler to allow as many options as possible. “We don’t know what pitch conditions we will come up against in each of the venues but wanted to have flexibility and options available to us. We know India is an incredibly tough place to tour and have success in, with most international teams struggling to adapt to the conditions. But we have chosen a squad which we believe will work really hard in its endeavours to perform well and give a good account of itself in the sub-continent.”
“We expect all of the young players chosen to benefit immensely from the experience. Mitchell is an exciting young leg-spinner that has come through the pathway system. We feel he has a lot of potential and want to see him take his opportunity in conditions that should suit him should he get a chance.”
l Squad: Steve Smith (captain), David Warner (vice-captain), Ashton Agar, Jackson Bird, Peter Handscomb, Josh Hazlewood, Usman Khawaja, Nathan Lyon, Mitchell Marsh, Shaun Marsh, Glenn Maxwell, Stephen O’Keefe, Matthew Renshaw, Mitchell Starc, Mitchell Swepson, Matthew Wade.