Australia are considering bringing back essential all-rounder Cameron Green from injury and playing against three spinners in the crucial second Test against India in Delhi.
The tourists are trying to recover from a terrible start to the Border Gavaskar series after being crushed by an innings and 132 carries in Nagpur.
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Australia expects another climb that will create a sharp turn after being outwitted by India’s star nutcases Ravi Jadeja and Ravichandran Ashwin last week.
Queensland left-arm spinner Matt Kuhnemann will almost certainly make his Test debut to play alongside Nathan Lyon and Todd Murphy if Green is fit.
The last time Australia picked three spinners was against Bangladesh in 2017, when Lyon, Ashton Agar and Steve O’Keefe, and all-rounder Glenn Maxwell played.
It was initially feared Green would be able to hit before he could bowl after recovering from a broken finger, but the 23-year-old had more trouble hitting powerful shots than making quick deliveries during Wednesday’s main training session.
“Having a right-hander helps and that he’s offering our fifth bowling option helps too, he’s a great player, hitting and bowling certainly helps the team function well,” said Australia captain Pat Cummins.
“You also have to be able to perform, he’s still coming back from this injury and has only had a couple of sessions where he’s caught with a hard ball.
“He had a really good session (on Wednesday) but he’ll see how he does.”
It’s not the only selection dilemma Australia are grappling with as they seek to avoid a 2-0 deficit in the four Test series.
Fast star Mitchell Starc, who has also recovered from a broken finger, joined his Australian team-mates this week after staying behind in Sydney.
Starc on Wednesday rated himself as a “good chance” of being able to play in the Indian capital but also doubted his availability.
Cummins said Starc wouldn’t be an automatic shot due to the spin-friendly conditions.
Victoria’s speedy Scott Boland also performed admirably alongside Cummins in his first bowling Test outside of Australia.
“I think there’s a conversation going on,” Cummins said of Starc.
“He’s one of the best bowlers in the world in these conditions.
“I thought last week with two pacers the attack worked quite well but I think if it’s ‘Starcy’, another spinner, Scotty (Boland), variety in attack helps.”
Australia will have to defy history to level the streak in the second Test, which begins on Friday, with India unbeaten in Red Ball matches at Delhi’s Arun Jaitley Stadium since 1987.
https://7news.com.au/sport/cricket/australia-facing-selection-dilemma-for-second-test-with-untried-spinner-matt-kuhnemann-firming-for-debut-c-9777406 Australia India second Test: Selection dilemma looms with untried spinner Matt Kuhnemann preparing for debut