IND vs AUS: Former Australian Captain Decodes Plan To Beat India, You Will Be Shocked To See His Plans. For the forthcoming tour of India, former Australia coach Darren Lehmann has revealed who he believes should pair with Nathan Lyon and serve as the team’s backup spinner.
Next month marks the start of a four-match Test series in India, and spin is anticipated to play a significant role in determining which team will prevail and take home the prized Border-Gavaskar trophy and significant ICC World Test Championship points.
Lehmann oversaw the Australian squad that last triumphed in a Test match played on Indian soil in 2017. That victory came in Pune, where left-arm swing bowler Stephen O’Keefe took 12 wickets to shock the home team.
Lehmann has pushed Australia to do the same this time and pick fellow southpaw Ashton Agar above leggie Mitchell Swepson and uncapped off-spinner Todd Murphy to join Lyon as the second spinner in India.
IND vs AUS: Former Australian Captain Decodes Plan To Beat India, You Will Be Shocked To See His Plans
“Having been there, I’m probably more inclined to play finger spinners,” Lehmann said on Australian radio station SENQ.
“It just gets through the air quicker and some spin and some don’t. The leg-spinners sometimes spin it too much, if that makes sense… (for finger spinners) some skid on and you get beaten on the inside and you get an LBW.
“That’s probably why they’re looking at a finger spinner. We certainly did that four years ago (2017) and Steve O’Keefe bowled India out basically on his own in one of the last Test matches to win there.
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“That’s why I’d be looking at someone like an Agar, bat a little bit, bowl as that second spinner.”
Although Agar has only played in five Test matches and was wicketless during Australia’s most recent Test match against South Africa in Sydney, Lehmann believes the sub-continent conditions will be favorable for the 29-year-old.
The series in India will be essential in determining who wins the World Test Championship and earns a playoff position for the one-off championship game at The Oval in June.
At the top of the standings, Australia presently has a comfortable lead over second-placed India, but Sri Lanka and South Africa still have a slim chance of making it to this year’s championship game.
To advance to the final, Lehmann’s former team only needs to avoid losing the series 4-0 in India, and the former Australia coach is certain that his team has the balance to do so.
Additionally, he believes that having the luxury of Swepson in the traveling group will be crucial should the situation warrant the inclusion of a leg-spinner at any point.
“I can’t believe there was talk of him (Swepson) not going, talk about balance of the side, if you get to pick 18 players, you want a pretty balanced squad,” Lehmann added.
“Most of the time we only take 15 (players) over there. They’ve got the extra spinners, there’s plenty of options, there’s no tour game, so they’ll work out the best option to win over there I’m sure.
“It does look like a pretty good squad. If it suits to play the leg-spinner as the second spinner, then good on him.”
Australia Tour of India 2023
February 9-13: First Test
February 17-21: Second Test
March 1-5: Third Test
March 9-13: Fourth Test
Australia Test squad for India tour: Pat Cummins (c), 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 (vc), Mitchell Starc, Mitchell Swepson, David Warner