Darren Lehmann confirms dual spin attack for first Test

Ashton Agar likely to make a Test comeback after four years
Ashton Agar likely to make a Test comeback after four years
©REUTERS
 

Australia head coach Darren Lehmann has indicated that the team management is likely to go with a dual spin attack in the first Test against Bangladesh that begins on Sunday in Mirpur.

With Nathan Lyon being the lead spinner, the choice for his partner will fall between Ashton Agar and the uncapped young Mitchell Swepson.

Agar has already played two Tests for Australia that came during the 2013 Ashes series in which he managed just two wickets but scored 98 runs with the bat on his debut innings.

Australia have not played much of cricket leading to the first Test with even the warm-up game against Bangladesh Cricket Board XI in Fatullah also washed out due to water-logged conditions and Lehmann indicated that they are unlikely to tinker with the combination that they used in the Indian series earlier this year.

"We obviously haven't played too much, so we're fairly settled in where we want to go," he told reporters in the Bangladesh capital.

"That decision will be made later, once we start to have a look at the test wicket and the conditions. Most likely, I think we'll play two spinners."

Left-arm-spinner Steve O'Keefe was overlooked for the upcoming Bangladesh tour despite ending as Australia's leading wicket taker in the Test series against India where he even registered a career best 12-wicket haul in the game in Pune.

O'Keefe also faced a suspension and a $20,000 fine by the New South Wales board for his offensive comments while intoxicated following Steve Waugh Medal presentation in April. This was also his second offence in last nine months after he was slammed with another $10,000 fine by Cricket Australia for involving in a verbal altercation with a security guard at The Steyne Hotel in Sydney.

In the place of the New South Wales spinner, the selectors opted for Agar and Lehmann is pleased with the choice.

"Steven was excellent over there but we've decided to go with Ashton," Lehmann said.

"He's got the all-round game and hopefully he'll take it to the next level so if we wanted to play three quicks he could bat up the order, for example. He gives us a lot of flexibility in that way.

"Young Swepson is a good prospect as a leg-spinner ... it's really tight between all the spinners but Ashton himself has batted really well, he's a gun fielder and he's got his length right with the ball..."

The two match Test series will be played between 27th August and 8th September with Mirpur and Chittagong being the venues.

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