Australia skipper Pat Cummins wants everything at his “disposal” for the “big” series in India next month and besides frontline spinner Nathan Lyon, he feels Ashton Agar and Travis Head too will be vital to the team’s bowling plans.
Australia, who completed a 2-0 Test series win over South Africa here, are gearing up for the four-match Border-Gavaskar series, starting in Nagpur on February 9.
“I think our squad will have basically all possibilities. It’s a big series, so we want everything at our disposal,” Cummins said after the match.
Agar had been called up for the final Test against South Africa keeping in mind the Indian tour. However, in the 22 overs he bowled, the 29-year-old gave away 58 runs and remained wicketless in the drawn Test.
But being a left-arm spinner, he could prove effective against the Indian top order that is dominated by right-handers in the absence of southpaw Rishabh Pant, who will miss the series due to injuries sustained in a car accident last month.
“Ash will be there, a left-arm orthodox … he’ll absolutely be there,” “It wasn’t an audition at all (for the India tour). This wicket’s a bit different to India, it wasn’t really spinning out of the middle of the wicket.
“An Indian wicket sometimes really breaks up, even from the middle of the wicket, and a left-arm orthodox becomes a bit more effective against right-hand batters. I thought he did really well,” Cummins added.
While Nathan Lyon will spearhead the spin department in India, Cummins feels Head will also be vital.
“Trav is a slightly different off-spin bowler to Nath (Lyon), a bit flatter which could be really helpful over there. I’ve been really happy with how he (Head) has bowled, and probably under-bowled him even in this game. So he’ll be a big part of our team over there,” he added.
The skipper is also counting on the likes of part-time spinners Marnus Labuschagne and Steve Smith to pitch in the slow bowling department.
“Over there, if you’re picking two spinners you think it’s going to be quite a spinning wicket and Travis Head, Marnus, Smudge (Smith), they all come into it a bit more. Generally, if you’re picking two spinners you’re not expecting it to be a long five-day game, and we’ve got some other resources there anyway,” the captain said.
All-rounder Cameron Green, who missed the Sydney Test due to a fractured finger, is expected to recover in time for the India tour.
“Cam Green bats at six, so you’ve got three quick bowlers which is a bit of luxury as it is,” Cummins said.
“He showed his class (taking five wickets at the MCG) so no qualms picking him - you know what you’re going to get, and it’s quality.”