CricketPat Cummins Backs Ashton Agar As Frontline Spinner To Tour India
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Australia To Tour India With Ashton Agar As Frontline Spinner

Although Australia may not play two frontline spinners throughout the four-Test series, Ashton Agar is guaranteed a position on the next tour to India.

Agar had a challenging comeback to Test cricket in Sydney following a five-year absence, tossing 22 wicketless overs as Australia’s attempt to force a victory over South Africa fell short.

Due in part to the fact that the surface did not break up as anticipated following prolonged rain delays, captain Pat Cummins stated after the game on Sunday that the game was not an India tryout. But in India, the pitch generally deteriorates after first three days.

“I’m sure Ash will be there. This wicket was a bit different to India. It wasn’t spinning out of the middle of the wicket” Pat Cummins said.

“Indian wickets sometimes really break up, even from the middle of the wicket. And left-arm orthodox becomes really effective against right-handed batters.

Ashton Agar and Nathan Lyon of Australia. (Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)

Agar’s selection in Sydney meant that he had overtaken Swepson, who made his debut in Pakistan last year, to become the nation’s second spinner. Throughout their 2017 series defeat in India, Australia used two spinners, with Steve O’Keefe and Nathan Lyon both collecting 19 wickets.

However, the rise of Travis Head, Steve Smith, and Marnus Labuschagne may alter that perspective. At the SCG, Cummins acknowledged that he under-bowled Head, Australia’s most dangerous offspinner at times.

Australia Having Plenty Of Bowling Options

Australia’s previous series victory in India came in 2004, when they relied heavily on reverse swing while fielding three pacemen.

Following Swepson, who made his debut in Pakistan last year, Agar was chosen in Sydney as the nation’s second spinner. With Steve O’Keefe and Nathan Lyon both taking 19 wickets, Australia used two spinners during their 2017 series defeat in India.

However, the rise of Steve Smith, Marnus Labuschagne, and Travis Head may alter that perspective. As Australia’s most dangerous offspinner at times, Pat Cummins acknowledged that he hasn’t used Head as a spinner upto the mark.

Australia’s most recent series victory in India came in 2004 while using three pacemen and a lot of reverse swing.

With both Mitchell Starc and Cameron Green hoping to recover from fractured fingers before the second Test in Delhi, the pace-bowling backup they provide will be essential to that matchup.

Following a 1-0 series victory in Pakistan last year and a 1-1 tie in Sri Lanka, Australia is certain they have the greatest preparation possible for the four-Test series, which begins on February 9 in Nagpur.

“We’re as good a chance as we’re ever going to be. No-one’s going over there blind having the experience in Pakistan and Sri Lanka last year has put us in really good stead” Pat Cummins said.

“It’s been another fantastic summer. This bowling attack, weathering the storm at the Gabba, then the MCG and then coming here (to the SCG), it’s different again.

“The way our batting group have stood up has been fantastic. Other than this game in the shortened time frame, we’ve been able to get 20 wickets each Test match in different circumstances. I feel like we’re adapting really well.”