It’s unusual for Australia to enter a Test match with just one pacer, but former spinner Steve O’Keefe believes the Pat Cummins-led team has the capacity to recover from the innings loss to India in Nagpur.
Due to the turning wicket in the first Test of the Border-Gavaskar series, which Australia lost by an innings and 132 runs, Cummins decided to only use one quick and three spinners, including debutant Matthew Kuhnemann, Todd Murphy, and Nathan Lyon, in the second Test on Friday at the Arun Jaitley Stadium.
Australia is using three regular spinners for the first time in more than five years. The last time this happened was during the 2017 Test against Bangladesh in Chattogram, when the visitors sent in three tweakers: Lyon, Ashton Agar, and O’Keefe.
Josh Hazlewood succumbed to a left Achilles tendon problem, forcing the selection of pacers Cameron Green and Mitchell Starc owing to injury worries, and Cummins is the only quick who will handle all of the pace-bowling duties.
With their spin, Marnus Labuschagne and Travis Head, who have both returned to the playing XI, can help with bowling duties as well.
Notwithstanding the backlash against the Australian team after the disaster, O’Keefe stated he is still optimistic about his team’s chances in the four-Test series. O’Keefe commented on “SEN Radio” that he “still remains confident on the series with this Australian side.”
“In its last 43 home matches, India has lost just two games.” With 1.4 billion cricket fans in the country, they are unstoppable and specialists in their particular field.
“It’s tough… but I honestly think that players with the talent to play spin include men like (Steve) Smith, Labuschagne, Head, and (Matthew) Renshaw. When David Warner and Usman Khawaja, who opened the batting, both failed in both innings, and Renshaw was removed for 0 and 2 in Nagpur, O’Keefe believed the hitters might recover.
“Usman Khawaja can do extremely well, we anticipate David Warner to shine with all of his experience, and if the Australians reflect on the last game, there were brief periods when they had opportunities to win the game.
There were a few opportunities to make that 170 into 270 and change the course of the game, he said.
Australia‘s first innings score in the Nagpur Test was 177.