Australian coach Andrew McDonald has been put in a spot over the team selection in Sri Lankan conditions scheduled to be played in the months of June and July. The two-match Test series is going to be crucial for Australia in terms of their World Test Championship ambitions, who currently dominate the points table with five wins from three series. Australia routed England at home and did exceptionally well in the dry conditions of Pakistan, which did not offer any help to the bowlers for the larger part of the series.
Sri Lanka, however, will be a different challenge for the Australian team who are majorly a pace dominant bowling attack. Australia will have to think a lot about their selection as Sri Lanka over the last couple of years has seen spinners bowling from both ends inside the first 10-15 overs.
Head coach Andrew McDonald delved into the same ahead of the series and stated that Australia will be put on a selection fix if they are to play three spinners in the game.
“It’s always there. You pick three spinners in your squad for that exact reason. We challenged ourselves on it in Pakistan, but the information we had leading into the games there was probably two spinners at best. Galle creates another conversation. It’s how you fit them in. Mitchell Starc has an unbelievable record in the subcontinent and Sri Lanka in particular,” said the coach.
“I think the last tour there he was the leading wicket-taker. So you’re going to be a brave man to leave out either the captain [Pat Cummins] or Mitch Starc to pick a third spinner. So it’s really how it fits,” Andrew McDonald to SEN on Tuesday, 3 May.
If Australia do manage to play three spinners – Nathan Lyon, Mitchell Swepson and Ashton Agar, they will either have to drop one of their pacers in Mitchell Starc or captain Pat Cummins. If they want to play the two pacers together, fast bowling all-rounder Cameron Green will have to be left out of the team.