Steve Waugh does not see Australia including Mitchell Swepson for the opening Border-Gavaskar Test

Mitchell Swepson is one of the four spinners in the Australian squad

Former Australian skipper Steve Waugh has said that the Steve Smith-led Australian side would be tempted to play rookie leg-spinner Mitchell Swepson in the first Test of the four-match Test series in Pune, starting from the 23rd of February.

Speaking to his fans on a live Facebook chat, the 51-year-old said that the leg-spinner would bring an element of surprise for the Indians, but had his doubts over whether the Australians would hand him a debut in the opening Test starting in two weeks time.

“Australia will be tempted to throw him in that first Test side because it does bring that element of surprise against the Indian batsman. They wouldn't have seen much of him and they wouldn't have planned too much against him,” Waugh said.

Swepson is one of the four spinners, who will be coming to India for the four-match Test series along with Nathan Lyon, Ashton Agar and Stephen O’Keefe and it will be interesting to the combination that the Australians pick for the Pune Test.

The 23-year-old leg-spinner does not have a great domestic record for Queensland, having played 14 First Class games and picked up 41 wickets and 15 List A matches and taken 9 scalps in those games.

But Swepson did show a lot of promise while playing for the Brisbane Heat in the recently concluded Big Bash League, where he picked up 12 wickets in 9 matches, helping his side reach the semi-finals stage of the competition, where they lost to the Sydney Sixers.

Whether that performance is enough for Smith to pick him in the playing XI for the first Test is an answer we will know only in the next fortnight.

His inclusion did raise a few eyebrows, considering that they also had Adam Zampa, who had done extremely well in limited-overs cricket for Australia and was part of the squad for the World T20 as well last year.

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Edited by Staff Editor
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