With Cricket Australia naming a spin-heavy 16-man squad for the four-match Test series in India, former skipper Allan Border said he would have picked right-arm pacer Pat Cummins to add firepower to the tourist’s attack and had doubts that spinners could do the job.
“I personally would have taken a gamble on another paceman, probably Pat Cummins,” Border said. “I think he’s ready to go. I’m not sure why they’re holding him back so much. I would have been very tempted to have that firepower bowling option.”
“If you use Pat Cummins properly, he’s only probably got to bowl 16 overs in a day. You just do it in four short bursts and you just let him rip,” he added.
The squad to be led by Steve Smith includes six batsman, four spin bowlers, three pace bowlers, two all-rounders and a wicket-keeper.
Uncapped leg-spinner Mitchell Swepson was named in the team to boost the spin contingent, which also includes Nathan Lyon and left-arm orthodox Ashton Agar and Steve O’Keefe.
However, the former skipper has suggested Australia to rely on the strength of its fast bowlers to beat India rather than risk playing inexperienced spinners.
“If I’m a batsman, I know who I prefer to face, even on a turning track. I think he’s (Cummins) a guy who could get some reverse swing as well, which will be really key to doing well over there,” Border said.
“I’m not sure whether they’re going to beat them just with spin options. They’ve got a phenomenally good batting line-up, India. To get our 20 wickets to win games, we’re going to have to show a lot more patience than we normally do.”
Australia has not won a Test in India since 2004 and its last series victory in Asia came against Sri Lanka in 2011. It has since suffered nine straight Test losses in the subcontinent.
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