Former Australian men’s coach Darren Lehmann feels Ashton Agar must be given a preference over leg-spinner Mitch Swepson to partner Nathan Lyon in the upcoming Border-Gavaskar series, starting from February 9.
Agar only has five Test caps to his name and went wicket-less during Australia’s most recent Test match against South Africa in Sydney, but Lehmann expects conditions on the sub-continent to suit the 29-year-old.
“Having been there, I’m probably more inclined to play finger spinners,” Lehmann told SENQ Breakfast.
“Having said that, Shane Warne, even though his record wasn’t as good over there, last time (we won) he was the leg spinner (alongside) three quicks. It’s not all that bad playing a leg spinner there…
“I can’t believe there was talk of him (Swepson) not going, talk about balance of the side, if you get to pick 18 players, you want a pretty balanced squad.
“Most of the time we only take 15 over there. They’ve got the extra spinners, there’s plenty of options, there’s no tour game, so they’ll work out the best option to win over there I’m sure.
“It does look like a pretty good squad. If it suits to play the leg spinner as the second spinner, then good on him.”
Lehmann, who has coached Australia for five years, explained the importance of finger spinners in India.
It just gets through the air quicker and some spin and some don’t. The leg spinners sometimes spin it too much, if that makes sense… (for finger spinners) some skid on and you get beaten on the inside and you get an LBW.
“That’s probably why they’re looking at a finger spinner. We certainly did that four years ago and Steve O’Keefe bowled India out basically on his own in one of the last Test matches to win there, that’s why I’d be looking at someone like an Agar, bat a little bit, bowl as that second spinner.”
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