Sydney, Jan 1 (Ajit Weekly News) Australia head coach Andrew McDonald said on Sunday that the playing eleven for the third and final Test against South Africa, starting from January 4, will be decided only until they see the pitch at the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG), which is expected to be spin-friendly.
“One thing I’ve learned around wickets recently is never assume anything. I think we’ll just wait and see what unfolds from the ground staff in terms of the wicket they prepare. But what I will say around that is that we feel as though we’ve got a squad for whatever that surface may be. We’ve got pretty much all bases covered,” McDonald was quoted as saying by ESPNCricinfo.
McDonald added that Australia’s selectors wanted a left-arm orthodox to complement the right-arm off-spin of Nathan Lyon, which is why Ashton Agar was included in squad for the Sydney Test.
Agar made his debut in Tests for Australia in 2013, making a famous 98 with the bat against England in the Ashes and last played a longer format match in 2017, apart from 63 first-class appearances bringing three centuries.
“We feel as though the complementing type of spinner that we’ve picked here with the left-arm orthodox is the way that we wanted to go. Sometimes the second spinner isn’t necessarily the best next spinner if that makes sense. It’s the one that complements what you have and we feel like the left-arm orthodox can be successful in Sydney and also as we venture the subcontinent.”
“It could be two spinners, two quicks. “It could be we could play a slightly more aggressive team with Alex Carey going into six and play five bowlers (with Agar at No.7). We feel pretty comfortable that Ash has got that skill set and he’s a very mature player now and we feel that if he was to get that opportunity in India, or firstly here, that he’ll be able to step up,” he added.
Australia also have a tearaway pacer in Lance Morris, who is well in contention to make his Test debut at Sydney. But McDonald is keeping all his options open. “All scenarios are on the table. If we feel as though we need some airspeed then no doubt Lance is the obvious one. The conditions will determine that.”
“I’d love to be able to speak in more depth around it. In two days’ time, I’ll probably be better positioned to be able to discuss and talk about that. I think that’s one that’s possible if the conditions present that way.”
–Ajit Weekly News
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