- Sinchan Saha | January 11, 2023 | 9:57 am
Australia has named four spinners and six pace bowlers in their squad for the four Test matches in February and March, keeping their bowling options wide open for the upcoming tour of India.
Todd Murphy, a spinner with no previous experience, was perhaps the most unexpected addition to the team that won against South Africa on home soil to close out Australia’s home summer.
The 22-year-old will bowl slow for the matches in Nagpur, New Delhi, Dharamshala, and Ahmedabad alongside fellow off spinner Nathan Lyon, Ashton Agar, and Mitchell Swepson.
Agar, a left-armer, remained in the team despite failing to score a run in his first Test since 2017 in the weather-delayed draw with the Proteas on Sunday.
“Ashton Agar continues to impress following his comeback in Sydney and we believe left-arm finger spin will play an important role in Indian conditions. Todd Murphy has progressed quickly having impressed in domestic cricket and recently with Australia A. With those performances Todd has emerged as a strong spin option. Selection in this squad also provides another opportunity to spend time alongside Nathan Lyon and assistant coach Daniel Vettori in India, which will be invaluable to his development.”head selector George Bailey said in a news release.
All-rounder Cameron Green has been selected with the expectation that he will recover from his broken finger, while left-arm paceman Mitchell Starc will not join the squad until after the first Test due to a finger injury.
Josh Hazlewood kept his spot because he was the best bowler in Sydney when he came back from an injury. Pat Cummins, Scott Boland, and Lance Morris, who hasn’t played for a team yet, were the other pace options.
The team that beat South Africa also included Swepson and middle order batsman Peter Handscomb, while opener Marcus Harris was left out.
“Peter Handscomb deserves his place back in the squad. His domestic form has been strong recently and Pete has proven he can perform at Test level. His experience against spin on the subcontinent is valuable and he is also an exceptionally good close-to-the-wicket catcher.”Bailey added.
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Squad: Pat Cummins (captain), Ashton Agar, Scott Boland, Alex Carey, Cameron Green, Josh Hazlewood, Peter Handscomb, Travis Head, Usman Khawaja, Marnus Labuschagne, Nathan Lyon, Lance Morris, Todd Murphy, Matthew Renshaw, Steve Smith, Mitchell Starc, Mitchell Swepson, David Warner