Australia has named four frontline spin options in their 18-member squad for the upcoming Test series in India. Uncapped offspinner Todd Murphy has been given his maiden call-up for the series.
Mitchell Starc has been included, but he will miss at least the first match of the four-match series, which starts on February 9 in Nagpur.
This is because he is still recovering from the tendon injury to his left index finger, which kept him out of the third Test against South Africa in the series that ended in Sydney. The inclusion of all-rounder Cameron Green is also contingent on his prompt recovery from the broken finger.
Lance Morris, a pacer with no previous experience, has also retained his spot in the team and may be eligible to make his debut in Nagpur in Starc’s absence. Another backup pace option in the squad is Scott Boland, who did not play in the game against South Africa in Sydney.
The chairman of the selectors, George Bailey, stated that the visitors will have six pacers and four frontline spin options in Nathan Lyon, Mitchell Swepson, who has also been recalled, Ashton Agar, and Murphy, to cover all bases for the varying conditions in India.
“Mitchell Swepson provides leg-spinning variety and has recent Test experience on the continent.
“Todd Murphy has made rapid progress after impressing in domestic cricket and most recently with Australia A., These performances have made Todd a strong spin option.
Meanwhile, Peter Handscomb, who had been called up to the Australia Test team in advance of the game at the SCG that was canceled due to rain, has kept his spot in the team and will join Matt Reneshaw as batting backup while Marcus Harris was unable to play. Handscomb last represented Australia in a Test match in 2019.
Bailey stated, “Peter Handscomb deserves his place back in the squad.” Pete has demonstrated that he can perform at the Test level, and his domestic form has recently been strong.
Bailey also said that Australia will have time to make any necessary changes to the team because the second and third Tests are separated by a week.