Australia's Cummins mum on 3rd Test XI but two spinners likelyBreaking

January 03, 2023

Captain Pat Cummins said on Tuesday Australia had settled on their team for the final Test against South Africa in Sydney and indicated he was leaning towards playing two spinners. Cummins said he would confirm his XI at Wednesday's pre-match toss while highlighting the spin-friendly nature of the Sydney cricket Ground pitch and the fact it could be an ideal lead-in to next month's tour of India. It raises the prospect of recalled Ashton Agar partnering with 458-wicket-taker Nathan Lyon in a twin-spin attack at the SCG for the first time since 2017.

"I don't think it's the WACA (Perth) type pace bowling-friendly wicket out there, so we'll see," he told reporters." "Yesterday we had a pretty good look at the wicket, just wanted to have another look today 24 hours on." "It hasn't really changed. They've taken a bit more grass off it. I know SCG historically is renowned for a bit of spin and I reckon that might be the case this week." Cummins's sentiments indicate that West Australian paceman Lance Morris, dubbed "Wild Thing", could miss out on making his debut in place of the injured Mitchell Starc in the final South Africa Test.

South Africa captain Dean Elgar said he was not in favour of playing an extra batsman because of the added pressure it would place on four specialist bowlers. "I'm still in favour of a six-five split, but all options are still on the table," Elgar said on Tuesday. "It would be a massive call, a big ask on four bowlers because they did some big numbers in the last Test, a lot of overs." Number three Theunis de Bruyn's early departure from Australia for family reasons has left tour selectors with a choice between a recall for Rassie van der Dussen or Heinrich Klaasen. "Talk is cheap and we have to go out and perform, make amends for what has happened so far," said Elgar, who will finalise his team at Wednesday's toss.

Cummins backed speedsters Josh Hazlewood and Scott Boland to support him in the new-ball attack and make the most of any available reverse swing as the pitch becomes more abrasive under wear and tear. "We'll probably get more spin overs here. Our batters are obviously going to face more spin here as well," he said. "Captaining here might be different from the last few Test matches. It's good preparation for India." "It's a huge connection to India. I think with fast bowling, reverse swing is going to come into it, which we can expect in India." Another possible option for selectors was to bring in Matthew Renshaw to bolster the batting with either Hazlewood or Boland making way.

Credit : Independent News Pakistan-INP