'Second spinner could be the weak link for Australia' - Rashid Latif analyzes visitors' squad ahead of Border Gavaskar Trophy
The Border-Gavaskar Trophy is slated to begin on February 9 at Nagpur.
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Ahead of the four-match Test series against India, Australia have announced four frontline spinners in their 18-men squad. Besides the veteran Nathan Lyon, who is a guaranteed starter in the playing XI, the Pat Cummins-led side has also named Ashton Agar, Mitchell Swepson and Todd Murphy in the team.
Talking about the same, former Pakistan skipper Rashid Latif believes that the second spinner could be the weak link for Australia in the upcoming Border-Gavaskar Trophy. Since the pitches are expected to favour the spinners, Latif suspects that there isn’t enough quality in Australia’s spin department and only Lyon can bail them out. He reckons that the 35-year-old will have to bowl well to help Australia do well in the series.
“The second spinner could be the weak link for Australia, be it Mitchell Swepson or Ashton Agar. Against Pakistan as well, Swepson played in Karachi, where the Test was drawn. Australia won the Lahore Test because of Nathan Lyon and Pat Cummins’ excellent bowling. Lyon will have to bowl well again,” said the 54-year-old during a discussion on the YouTube Channel ‘Caught Behind’.
India cannot take Nathan Lyon lightly in the fourth innings: Latif
Over the last few years, spin wizard Nathan Lyon has proved his calibre and rose to the occasion whenever the team needed him. In his previous India tour, Lyon was the joint third-leading wicket-taker of the series and the joint-highest wicket-taker for Australia. Now with experience, he can prove to be really dangerous against the Indian batters.
With that, Latif warned the Rohit Sharma-led side to be cautious as Lyon has enough quality to wreak havoc in the fourth innings of the match.
“If there are turning pitches on offer, Nathan Lyon has enough experience (to exploit them). But India’s batters play him very well. Australia’s pitches are different - there is bounce over there and the ball also skids a bit. But the Indian batters will get additional time over here, so I feel they can manage well. India, however, cannot take him lightly in the fourth innings,” Latif added.
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