Inverarity says No.1 spin role in team still up for grabs as Oz reveals squad for India tour
Sydney, Jan 31: Australia chief selector John Inverarity has claimed the position of number one spinner in the Test team is still up for grabs, which has put pressure on Nathan Lyon, following the naming of the squad for their upcoming India tour.
One of the most controversial positions in the touring party of 17 is that of Xavier Doherty, who grabbed a seat on the plane in the absence of injured left-arm orthodox spinners Michael Beer and Jon Holland, the Sydney Morning Herald reports.
One of the options during the four-Test series starting in Chennai on February 22 is to team Lyon with Doherty in an attack comprising two pace men and seam-bowling all-rounder Moises Henriques, the paper added.
Another is to play three quicks, one specialist spinner and off-spinning all rounder Glenn Maxwell.
In that scenario, Inverarity suggested Lyon, the incumbent, does not have a mortgage on the main spinner's position, the paper said.
Doherty, who edged out Steve O'Keefe, has a first-class bowling average of 44.78 and endured a harrowing Test initiation against England's batsmen during the ill-fated 2010-11 Ashes.
Inverarity said they feel Doherty is much improved in the longer format of the game since he made his Test debut in 2010-11 against England, adding they also have the Ashes series in mind.
Inverarity expressed confidence that injured David Warner will be fit for the first Test against India.
Inverarity said that the composition of the squad has been carefully thought out to have the flexibility required to deal with varying Indian conditions.
Returning quick James Pattinson has also been named in the Test squad while injured pace man Ben Hilfenhaus missed out on a spot in the squad.
Australian test Squad: Michael Clarke (capt), Ed Cowan, David Warner, Phil Hughes, Shane Watson, Matthew Wade, Glenn Maxwell, Mitchell Johnson, Peter Siddle, Mitchell Starc, Nathan Lyon, Moises Henriques, James Pattinson, Xavier Doherty, Jackson Bird, Usman Khawaja, Steve Smith.