Australia captain Steve Smith hinted that they might be playing with the three spinners in the opening Test against India, which will start in Pune on Thursday.
When the Australian selectors included five spin options in the national squad they had India’s match winning or game changer wickets in their mind for the upcoming four match Test series in India.
Both the off-spinners Nathan Lyon and all-rounder Stephen O’Keefe played the most recent Test against Pakistan last month while the left-arm orthodox Ashton Agar and the uncapped leg-spinner Mitchell Swepson along with the all-rounder Glenn Maxwell is in the squad against India.
Maxwell returned with the figures of 0-26 while Lyon and O’Keefe were used at length and picked up 4-162 and 3-101 respectively at the drawn tour match against India A.
Australian coach Darren Lehman and Smith had another look at the Pune wicket on Wednesday to the build up of the Test series after which they are possibly thinking to go in with a spin heavy bowling attack.
During in an exclusive interview with Grandstand, the Australian skipper Smith said, “I guess it’s whether we play three spinners and either one quick or two quicks and no all-rounder, or a spin bowling all-rounder. We’ve got a few options, so we’ll have a look and see what our best for this first Test match is.”
The Pune pitch was not surprised as Smith expects “spin from the first ball”. He further added, “I wasn’t surprised, it was pretty dry. It looks like it’s going to take some spin from ball one, so we weren’t surprised by that. We’re prepared for that and now it’s just about going out there and playing the game we play.”
The Aussie skipper emphasized that the Australians need to adopt a disciplined approach to their bowling attack and not give India any chance to score easy runs. He also said that their batsmen need to be at their defensive best and they need to be positive.
Steve added, “I think as a batting group it’s being able to back our defense. I think obviously you have to be positive and look to score but in the end, it’s about making sure your defense is in good order.”