Swep­son re­al­is­tic over chances

New Straits Times - - Sport -

SYDNEY: Un­capped Aus­tralia legspin­ner Mitchell Swep­son recog­nises he is head­ing to Bangladesh as the third-choice slow bowler but is hop­ing his abil­ity to get prodi­gious turn will earn him a Test call-up.

Swep­son, who toured In­dia ear­lier this year but did not play, was added last week to Aus­tralia’s squad for their two-Test se­ries in Bangladesh, which starts on Aug 27.

The 23-year-old, how­ever, un­der­stands that off­spin­ner Nathan Lyon and left-arm or­tho­dox spin­ner Ashton Agar are likely to be ahead of him in the se­lec­tors’ minds.

“I was added late, so you’d prob­a­bly think that the other two blokes are ahead of me at the mo­ment,” Swep­son told re­porters at the team’s train­ing camp in Dar­win yes­ter­day.

“But any­thing can hap­pen.

“I’ve just got to pre­pare to play and if it doesn’t hap­pen, then so be it. I’ll just take the ex­pe­ri­ence as it comes and I’m look­ing for­ward to it.”

Swep­son’s abil­ity to get turn was highly re­spected by leg-spin­ning great Shane Warne, who urged se­lec­tors to bring him into the side for their pro­gramme at home last sum­mer.

The Queens­lan­der, how­ever, was not in­cluded until the tour of In­dia ear­lier this year, where he said he had picked up a great deal of knowl­edge.

“I picked up a few things in In­dia just be­ing around the squad, and be­ing able to be at Test matches and watch how the blokes go about it,” he said.

“Com­ing back this pre-sea­son, I was re­ally happy with where my bowl­ing was at and I think that was on the back of be­ing on that In­dian tour.”

While Agar’s abil­ity to tie up one end with a su­pe­rior econ­omy rate to Swep­son is likely to earn him the nod, it is ac­tu­ally his bat­ting that could give him a leg up in fu­ture se­lec­tions, ac­cord­ing to cap­tain Steve Smith.

Agar still holds the record for the high­est Test score as a num­ber 11 when he struck an im­pres­sive 98 on de­but against Eng­land as a teenager in 2013.

The 23-year-old has scored two first class cen­turies and eight half cen­turies and Smith said he felt Agar could po­ten­tially trans­form into a bats­man who bowls rather than a bowler who can bat. Reuters

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