Former Australia National Cricket Team coach Darren Lehmann has said that he is more inclined towards playing finger spinners in the Border-Gavaskar Trophy 2023 against India. He feels that Ashton Agar should partner with Nathan Lyon and be the second spin-bowling option.
Lehmann was in charge of Team Australia when they won the first Test of the Border-Gavaskar Trophy 2017 on Indian soil. In the first Test match of the 4-match series, left-arm spinner Steve O’Keefe performed brilliantly as he bagged 6 wickets in the first innings and 6 wickets in the second innings to win the Player of the Match award and Australia won that game by 333 runs.
Meanwhile, Lehmann has advised Australia to use the same formula this time around and give Ashton Agar the nod at selection – ahead of Mitchell Swepson and Todd Murphy – to partner with Lyon.
“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.
“That’s why I’d be looking at someone like an Agar, bat a little bit, bowl as that second spinner.”
It does look like a pretty good squad – Darren Lehmann
Darren Lehmann further said that Australia have picked a pretty good squad for the Test series against India. He believes that the addition of leg-spinner Mitchell Swepson to the squad provides Australia with a good luxury.
“I can’t believe there was talk of him (Swepson) not going, talk about the 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.”
The Border-Gavaskar Trophy 2023 series will be played across four different venues in India. The Vidarbha Cricket Association Stadium, Jamtha, Nagpur will host the first Test from February 9 to 13, and the Arun Jaitley Stadium, Delhi will host the second Test from February 17 to 21.
The third Test will be played at the Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association Stadium, Dharamsala from March 1 to 5 and the fourth Test will be played at the Narendra Modi Stadium, Ahmedabad from March 9 to 13.
Australia Test squad for tour of India:
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