A dry SCG pitch will help Australia pick two spinners for the New Year’s Test for the first time in six years, but Sydney’s weather forecasts are making for an interesting selection ahead of the third and final Test against South Africa. created a dilemma.
Western Australian spinner Ashton Ager, who played the latest of four Tests in 2017, was rushed into the squad last week to accompany veteran coordinator Nathan Lyon.
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The Australians were greeted by dry and patchy SCG wickets on Monday afternoon and Nathan Lyon took a close look at the deck before training.
Players were unsure of what to do with the ‘two two-pace’ wickets, very similar to what Australia could expect at next month’s Border Gavascar Trophy on the subcontinent, and were among the other players encountered this summer. Certainly more so than any test pitch.
In the latest Sheffield Shield match at the SCG, 21 of 40 wickets went into a spin, with the fine tuners having the upper hand.
Australian paceman Josh Hazelwood is back from a flank strain that sidelined him for the third consecutive Test.
Hazelwood told reporters on Monday, “There’s not much turf and it’s pretty dry. I think we’ll see the footprints early on in the game.”
“There are grass patches, there are dry patches…it will definitely be two paces.
“I think it will have its ups and downs as well and turn around.
“I’m not very good at reading cricket wickets, but I’m probably good for[two spinners].
Australia have not picked two spinners at home since Steve O’Keeffe and Lyon bowled in tandem in the 2017 New Year’s Test against Pakistan.
Agger, who has three first-class centuries, could hit seventh in Sydney if picked, and four more bowling options if wicketkeeper Alex Carey falls to sixth. there is.
talk code sports Last week, SCG curator Adam Lewis hinted that hosts would benefit from adding a second spinner on the side.
“Given the way our soil is and the way it breaks down, I’d rather have a couple of spinners,” Lewis said.
“I think it’s late in the game, but thankfully I’m taking care of the pitch, not team selection.”
But frustrating weather in Sydney threatens to ruin Agger’s long-awaited return to testing, with the weather bureau predicting rain for the first four days of the New Year’s fixtures.
Moderate temperatures could tempt domestic selectors to play one strike spinner and put Matthew Renshaw or Marcus Harris in the top order. In such a scenario, uncapped Western Australian Quicklance Morris, who was initially added to the team to replace Mitchell Stark, is likely to make his Test debut.
“There are so many options in terms of offensive balance depending on what the surface offers,” Australian head coach Andrew Macdonald said earlier this week.
“It could be two spinners and two quicks.
“We could play against a slightly more aggressive team with Alex Carey down to six and facing five bowlers. Or we could play what we call the normal Australian structure.3 One quick and one spinner, as well as some part-time spin options can help.
Agar’s left arm orthodox spin could be a dangerous weapon in India next month. O’Keeffe famously won his 12-wicket hole in Pune six years earlier with a similar style of bowling.
While it would be beneficial to give Agher valuable testing experience ahead of the Border Gavaskar Trophy, McDonald declared that his immediate priority was to beat South Africa in Sydney.
“I still want to pick the right team on the right terms, and I don’t want to play on the teams I pick despite the terms,” McDonald said.
“We feel left-arm orthodoxes have the potential to be successful in Sydney and can also step into the subcontinent.
“Would you like (Ager) to give him more first-class opportunities? There’s no question about that. But his skill set feels like a perfect fit for the subcontinent. He’s a very mature player and I feel he could step up to that role if he gets the opportunity in India or here first.”
Hazlewood and Scott Boland will be battling it out for the final spot in the first XI if selectors want to unleash “The Wild Thing” in Sydney this week.
Borland has been phenomenal in the Test side since making his debut last summer, taking 28 wickets at 12.21, but Hazelwood said it would take his 217 Tests to ensure the pecking order remained unchanged. I swear the wickets were enough.
“Having pressure is always a good thing, and every time Scotty plays, he does very well,” Hazelwood said.
“When Ashes comes in, what he sees is the big one (the Tour) and he’s a bowler like me and Pat. With wicket that can seam and swing, it’s a great place for everyone to play together.” It’s possible, and it’s great to have options, and it always keeps me motivated.”
Australian captain Pat Cummins famously announces the starting XI the day before a test, but selectors may need another 24 hours to assess the pitch and conditions.
The third test between Australia and South Africa kicks off Wednesday morning at the SCG, with the first broadcast scheduled for 10:30am AEDT.