Former Australian spinner Steve O’Keefe reckons the Australian team should make room for as many as three spinners when visiting tour-friendly venues such as the subcontinent. That should keep them well ahead of their tours to India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka next year, according to O’Keefe.
Australia’s weakness against spin, not for the first time, has recently been exposed Bangladesh. They could not handle the amount of help the spiders could get in Bangladesh. O’Keefe said Australia needed to take care of more slow bowlers.
“I think we’re in a just as good place as ever from a bowling point of view. With Ashton [Agar] bat as good as he, you can play three. I think we should start looking at three spinners, as well as a fast and medium pacer. These would be my five bowling options in some of the situations you encounter there [sub-continent].“
Steve O’Keefe feels Nathan Lyon and Ashton Agar will be Australia’s best bet
Team India has twins Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja bowled in tandem on the turnpike. They even added Axar Patel to strengthen their spin division. Similarly, Australia need Nathan Lyon and Ashton Agar to spend time together.
“The beauty of playing Nathan Lyon with Ashton Agar is that Nathan is an attacking, top spinner who can be aggressive, then someone like Ashton can really control [from one end] and transfer the walking rate to two or three. If you look at the Indian spinners (Ashwin and Jadeja), work it really will contain — one will contain and one will be the wicket taker.“
Lyon were then Australia’s second best bowler in the WTC 2021-23 Pat Cummins. He finished jointly in fourth place in the list with the highest wickets, and took 56 wickets for Australia. Agar, on the other hand, has only played four Tests in his career since making his debut in 2013.
“I think it’s important for the guys to get some opportunities to bowl together, whether it’s in the run – up games for Aussie A or touring games there, to put together the synergy of bowling. I think they will succeed,He concluded.
The Aussies are currently against Bangladesh in a T20I series. This is part of their preparation for the upcoming 2020 T20 World Cup. They have already lost the series 1-3, with one game left.