India vs Australia: Pace or spin, Pat Cummins confident
Australia are confident about their bowling attack for the upcoming Test series against India and captain Pat Cummins believes that even their spin arsenal is well-equipped for taking on the challenge of subcontinental conditions.
Cummins feels Australia have enough options to support veteran off-spinner Nathan Lyon in the series, which begins in Nagpur on Thursday. Mitchell Swepson and finger spinner Ashton Agar will be the frontrunners to team up with Lyon, with young off-break bowler Todd Murphy yet to make his international debut.
“We’ve got plenty of options here (with) finger spin, wrist spin, left arm (pace) when (Mitchell) Starcy comes back,” Cummins told reporters in his first media interaction after arriving in India. “We’ll obviously pick the bowlers that we think are going to take 20 wickets. But how we split that up, we’re not 100 per cent sure yet.”
Will he play two spinners in the XI? “I wouldn’t say it’s a given. Obviously, it’s very conditions-dependent, particularly in the first Test... Once we get to Nagpur we will see that.
“The good thing is someone like Agar was in our last team, Swepson played the last two overseas tour, so a bit of experience. We feel that we got a lot of support in that department for Lyon.”
Besides the specialist spinners, Cummins also have part-time option in Travis Head. “Travis Head also bowls really good off-spin. We have to balance things. We have got plenty of variety there to choose from. We have not locked in any bowling line-up so far.”
Despite the spotlight being on spin-bowling, Cummins also chose to highlight the prowess of his pace attack. “I think sometimes, talking about a couple of spinners, you forget how good a lot of our fast bowlers have been in all conditions.”
Having made his Test comeback in Ranchi six years ago, Cummins knows a thing or two about Indian conditions. “Coming here to India when a lot of the talks are around big spinning wickets, it’s not always the case. You need to get into the grind at times. That role of the fast bowler, bowling a lot of overs for not a heap of reward but doing your job for your team. Much to play for this time,” he said.
Written with inputs from PTI