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Darren Lehmann hints at twin-spin attack for Sydney Test

Darren Lehmann hints at twin-spin attack for Sydney Test
Steve O' Keefe is in contention for the third Test against West Indies in Sydney.
©REUTERS / Action Images

Australian coach Darren Lehmann has hinted at a two-pronged spin attack for the third Test match against West Indies to be played at the Sydney Cricket Ground.

Having claimed a series clinching 177-run victory at the Melbourne Cricket Ground, Australia are currently nursing a few injury concerns for the third Test.

Fast bowler Peter Siddle seemed in discomfort while bowling in the second Test while Josh Hazlewood remained wicket-less in the game while showing signs of fatigue.

Having wrapped up the Boxing Day Test in just four days Australia have given themselves an extra day's rest but they have limited time before the third match which starts on 3rd January.

Revealing that Siddle is doubtful for the third Test with an ankle niggle, Lehmann indicated that the team management will look to field a bowling attack with two spinners given the amount of turn on offer in Sydney. 

“Peter Siddle would be doubtful, I would think,” Lehmann told cricket.com.au’s post-game show Stumps.

“We’ll wait to see what happens with his ankle and the medicos there.

“We’ll see how Josh Hazlewood pulls up; he’s been a bit stiff and sore, as has James Pattinson so we’re going to have to work out what we do there.

“We’re more than likely to play two spinners with the way the (SCG) wicket has been spinning this year.” 

However, Lehmann further stated that any decision over the composition of the bowling attack will be taken only after assessing the pitch and weather conditions in Sydney.

“But it depends - once we get there and assess conditions with the wicket and the weather.

“And we’ve obviously got Scott Boland with us now so we’ve got options there.

“We just have to make sure they’re all 100 per cent fit to go.

“If they’re not, we won’t play them.” 

The bowling performance of Mitchell Marsh on the fourth day of the second Test has been a significant boost to Australia, who have been plagued by injury concerns throughout the summer.

Lehmann was full of praise for Marsh, who bowled consistently at a good pace and managed to reverse the ball while picking four wickets for 61 runs from 17.3 overs.

“He ran in hard today. It’s probably the fastest he’s bowled all summer.

“He challenged their batsmen and brings a different feel as a bowler.

“He reverses it, he hits the deck and he can bowl bouncers. You need that on types of wickets like this and he provides that.

“As a fourth (fast-bowling) bowling option, and considering Peter Siddle is quite sore, he ended up being a third option today.” 

The third Test between Australia and West Indies will be the first time the two teams will be playing each other at the Sydney Cricket Ground since January 2001.

© Cricket World 2015