Australia 'likely to go unchanged' in Sydney Test against NZ

Source : IANS
Author : IANS
Last Updated: Thu, Jan 2nd, 2020, 15:12:06hrs

Sydney, Jan 2 (IANS) Australia are unlikely to make any changes in their playing XI for the third and final Test against New Zealand beginning Friday at the Sydney Cricket Ground.

Already holding an unassailable 2-0 lead in the three-match series, it was thought that Australia might go in with a second spinner considering the pitch conditions.

However, captain Tim Paine said on match eve one last look at the SCG pitch will determine the playing XI and that could include uncapped spinner Mitch Swepson.

"We're just weighing up whether we play the second spinner and if we did, how we would do that," Paine was quoted as saying by cricket.com.au.

"As JL (Australia coach Justin Langer) touched on yesterday, I think at the moment it would be likely that we would go unchanged, but there's still a possibility, if we see that wicket tomorrow morning, that we could play another spinner," he added.

Top order batsman Marnus Labuschagne's part-time leg-spin, who has till now scalped 12 wickets in 13 Tests, can offer Australia with another option if they decide to stick with one specialist spinner in the final Test and the SCG wicket starts turning towards the end of the match.

Australia had won the first Test by 296 runs in Perth whereas they registered a comprehensive 247-run victory in the second game played at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.

Australia squad: David Warner, Joe Burns, Marnus Labuschagne, Steve Smith, Matthew Wade, Travis Head, Tim Paine (c, wk), Pat Cummins, Mitch Starc, Nathan Lyon, James Pattinson, Michael Neser, Mitchell Swepson

New Zealand: Todd Astle, Tom Blundell, Trent Boult, Colin de Grandhomme, Matt Henry, Kyle Jamieson, Tom Latham, Henry Nicholls, Jeet Raval, Mitchell Santner, Tim Southee, Ross Taylor, BJ Watling, Neil Wagner, Kane Williamson (c).

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