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Australia skipper Pat Cummins hints at changes for second Test against India

News Agencies | Updated on: 16 February 2023, 18:31 IST
Australia skipper Pat Cummins.

Australia skipper Pat Cummins discussed possible changes to his side's lineup ahead of the second Border-Gavaskar Test to be played in Delhi from Friday.

Cummins said that batter Travis Head was part of selection conversations ahead of the second Test.

"Travis has been awesome, he's been working really hard on his game. He's been fantastic around the squad like he always is. There's always plenty of fun wherever Heady is. He is absolutely part of the conversation for this Test as he was in the first," Cummins said.

The first Test of the series was played at Nagpur and ended in an emphatic India win. The hosts won the game by an innings and 132 runs. After a dismal performance, changes can be expected in the Australia lineup.

While Head's record in the subcontinent doesn't stand out - he averages merely 21.3 from seven Tests - the 29-year-old is coming off a successful home summer. He scored 312 runs at an average of 156 against West Indies, while he made 213 runs at 53.25 against South Africa.

Opener David Warner who failed in the first Test and has a poor record in India (Test batting average of 22.16) seemed to have Cummins's backing. The fast bowler wanted Warner to bring out his aggression in future games.

"I'm not a selector. I don't think they've had a meeting but I'm sure Davey will be there. You saw at the Boxing Day Test when he puts pressure back on the opposition, he's pretty hard to bowl to. You don't get as many good balls, so he knows that. I'm sure that'd be part of his plan. He has been batting really well here. Even in the lead-up, I thought he was fantastic. I know there's a lot of talk about spin bowling through the middle but with that new ball it's sometimes the hardest time to bat as well," Cummins stated.

Fast bowler Mitchell Starc joined the squad ahead of Delhi Test, while all-rounder Cameron Green has been making progress as well. Cummins was cautious while discussing their progress.

"I don't have much for you there. Starcy and Green had good sessions yesterday and we will assess them later today. We don't have a line through them yet, we'll see," shared the Aussie skipper.

Cummins went further into Green's role in the side.

"Having a right-hander helps and him providing our fifth bowling option also helps. He's a big player, it certainly helps the team function well from batting and bowling. You have got to be able to perform as well, he's still coming back from that injury. He's only had a couple of sessions where he's catching with a hard ball. He had a really good session yesterday. We will see how he pulls up."

Australia will need to figure out their bowling combinations if all their bowlers are fit before the Delhi Test.

"We'll work that out by the end of today, I hope. He (Starc) is one of the world's premier bowlers in these types of conditions," Cummins said.

"We'll see. As I said, the wicket looks like it might turn a little bit. I thought last week with two pacers that attack functioned quite well but I think whether it's Starcy, another spinner, or Scotty, or variety in the attack does help. I think ideally your all-rounder needs to be good enough to bat in the top six. So that's a luxury we've had with Cam Green. In the past, I think probably in my first 20 Test matches, we went in with four bowlers. And it's draining but you can make that work. Again spin bowlers could probably bowl 25 overs in a day rather than 20. So yeah, ideally you've got batters that can chip in or a full-on all-rounder like a Cam Green but if not, I think you can get away with four bowlers," expressed the right-arm pacer.

The second Test begins on February 17 at the Arun Jaitley Stadium in New Delhi where the visitors will be looking to level the series. India leads the test series 1-0.


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First published: 16 February 2023, 18:30 IST