Mitchell Swepson to make debut for Australia in 2nd Test

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Karachi: Australia has given a test debut to leg-spinner Mitchell Swepson as another slow wicket looms for the tourists in the second Test against Pakistan at Karachi.

Swepson first toured with Australia’s test side five years ago and has consistently been Nathan Lyon’s spin deputy in the past few years, but has not been able to make the final XI.

The Queenslander bowler will be the first frontline leg-spinner to debut in tests for Australia’s men’s team since Bryce McGain’s one-off test in 2009 against South Africa at Cape Town.

“He’s (Swepson) pumped, to be honest, we’re all pumped,” Australia captain Pat Cummins said Friday ahead of Saturday’s second Test.

“He’s been a huge part of the squad, even though he hasn’t been playing, so we’re really excited to see him get a chance.”

Swepson will replace Josh Hazlewood in the only change Australia made from the team which played to a tame draw on a flat wicket at Rawalpindi.

Australia’s first Test in Pakistan since 1998 on a docile wicket of Pindi Cricket Stadium saw only 14 wickets fell in 14 sessions and the pitch was rated as “below average” by the International Cricket Council.

Another slow, low-bouncy wicket is being prepared for the second test of the three-match series.

“We think particularly a wrist-spinner of Swepo’s quality gives us a best opportunity to take 20 wickets,” Cummins said.

“History shows the spin is probably more damaging here than the pacemen.” Swepson has taken 154 wickets in 51 first-class games at an average of 33.45, but three of his four five-wicket hauls came in three successive Sheffield Shield domestic first-class games in late 2020.

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