Bengaluru, Feb 4 (IANS): With five days to go for the 2023 Border-Gavaskar Trophy opener in Nagpur, Australia captain Pat Cummins stated that he hasnt decided yet on whether he would be fielding two spinners in the playing eleven.
With Cameron Green having a very small chance of bowling in the first Test, Australia are very delicately poised on how they balance their playing eleven. Apart from premier off-spinner Nathan Lyon being a certainty, the visitors' have options in left-arm spinner Ashton Agar, leg-spinner Mitchell Swepson and uncapped off spinner Todd Murphy.
If needed, their batters Steve Smith, Marnus Labuschagne and Travis Head can roll their arm over too.
"I wouldn't say it (two spinners0 is a given, it's very conditions dependent so particularly this first Test, once we get to Nagpur we'll see. I think sometimes when 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 hasn't been a lot in them for quick bowlers but the quick bowlers have found a way."
We've got plenty of bowling options here - fingerspin, wrist spin, left-arm, Starcy when he comes back - so we'll obviously pick the bowlers we think can take 20 wickets, how we are going to split that up we aren't 100% sure yet," said Cummins to reporters at the KSCA Alur Facility, where Australia are holding their pre-series preparation camp.
If Australia indeed go with two spinners in Nagpur, Cummins remarked Murphy partnering Lyon could be a possibility, apart from Head offering the same variety in a part-time capacity.
"It's a chance. That's something we'll have to balance up if we want to go with two spinners. Do we want variation, or just two offspinners? So there's no reason why we can't go that way. Travis Head is in the side as well and bowls really good off spin. We've got plenty of variety to choose from," he said.
Australia and India, currently ranked number one and two respectively in both the ICC Men's Test Team Rankings and the ongoing ICC World Test Championship 2023 cycle, will meet in a highly-anticipated four-match series for the Border-Gavaskar Trophy, to be held in Nagpur, New Delhi, Dharamshala and Ahmedabad.
India are the current holders of the Border-Gavaskar Trophy, having won the last three series against Australia in 2017, 2018-19 and 2020-21, while Australia last won a Test series in India in 2004.