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Australian Cricket: Aussies wait on key duo for second Test

Australia could be set to employ three spinners when they take on India in the second Test which begins on Friday.

The Aussies have been licking their wounds since suffering a heavy defeat in the first Test and they have also been weighing up team selection.

With doubts surrounding the fitness of Mitchell Starc and Cameron Green, the Australian selectors could opt to go with a third spinner to play alongside Nathan Lyon and Todd Murphy. Only time will tell.

One thing is for certain, whoever takes to the pitch will have to come out firing and restore some pride following a dismal showing in the first Test. India will smell blood and they will be keen to go 2-0 up in the four-match Test series.

It is going to take a huge effort from the Aussies to fight their way back into the series. India are currently 1/7 to win the series while Australia are 14/1 so that pretty much says it all.

However they are not dead and buried yet and the second Test is their chance to silence the doubters and critics. Let’s take a closer look at the team news in the Aussie camp.

What:India v Australia second Test
Where:Arun Jaitley Stadium, New Delhi
When:Friday 17th to 21st February 2023
How to watch:Foxtel Go, Kayo Sports
Odds:India 4/9, Draw 13/2, Australia 7/2

Aussies wait on duo

Australia will only name their side for the second Test when they know exactly what is going on with key duo Starc and Green. Both players are in a race to prove their fitness and the Aussies will give them as long as possible.

Related Australian Cricket News

Takeaways from the first Test

Murphy set for Test debut

A look ahead to India Test series

It means the team to face India will only be revealed just before the match. Starc and Green both have finger injuries and although they are making good progress the second Test may come a bit too soon.

Captain Pat Cummins says they trained well on Wednesday but they will be assessed again on Thursday before a final decision is made. Green is the key player in this instance. He is a right-handed batsman and of course provides another key bowling option, meaning they would have five players to turn to.

Bowling would not be a worry for Green, but batting and fielding is a concern as he has done little of either since undergoing surgery after the Boxing Day Test. The selectors are also aware of how important Green is for the future and they will not be keen on taking any risks.

If he does play, Green is priced at 20/1 to be player of the match.

Who will be the third spinner?

Cummins has confirmed that Australia could opt to go with three spinners if Green is passed fit. That could mean no place for Starc, even if he is fit and available to play. Which begs the question who will be the third spinner if they go down that route?

It goes without saying that both Lyon and Murphy are in and it is widely thought that Matthew Kuhnemann could make his Test debut and join them.

Kuhnemann has joined the rest of the squad after Mitchell Swepson returned home for the birth of his first child, and the Queenslander could now get the nod. Perth star Ashton Agar is also another option for Australia and the selectors are faced with a tough dilemma. Lyon is priced at 13/2 to be the top first innings bowler.

Head to return?

The Aussie selectors dropped a bombshell by opting to leave Travis Head out of the side despite the fact the batsman had been in top form recently. Head had averaged 87.50 over the past six months but he was dropped with both Peter Handscomb and Matthew Renshaw getting the nod.

The decision completely backfired and the Aussie clearly missed Head’s experience and ability to dig in and get the runs when the going is tough. Cummins has revealed that Head is in the selectors thoughts ahead of the Test.

Many believe it is a no-brainer and Head should definitely be in. There is a question mark over David Warner’s position but again Cummins says he would be surprised if the opener was left out and is backing him to bounce back with some runs. 

Warner is a massive 9/1 to be the top first innings batsman, with Steve Smith the shortest priced Aussie at 5/1.

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