Matthew Kuhnemann added to Australia's Test squad for India series
Left-arm spinner Matthew Kuhnemann has been added to Australia's Test squad for the ongoing four-match series against India. He has come in as a replacement for leg-spinner Mitchell Swepson, who will fly back home after the second Test for the birth of his first child. Notably, Kuhnemann, 26, is yet to make his Test debut. Here are further details.
Why does this story matter?
- Australia lost the opening Test by an innings and 132 runs as the visiting team batters couldn't tackle the spin challenge.
- Swepson, a veteran of four Tests, was benched for the opener.
- Kuhnemann will now look to make a mark if an opportunity comes his way.
- As India's batting order is studded with right-handers, Australia might be tempted to play Kuhnemann.
A look at his FC numbers
Kuhnemann is pretty new to First-Class cricket, having scalped 35 wickets at 34.80 in 13 matches. The tally includes three fifers and a 10-wicket haul in a match. Kuhnemann often struggles to feature in Queensland's XI when Swepson is available. However, he showcased promise in his debut ODI series versus Sri Lanka last year, where he scalped six wickets in four games at 31.83.
Spinners can shine in Delhi
The second will get underway on February 17 at Delhi's Arun Jaitley Stadium, a venue highly known to favor spinners. India played three spinners in the opener and the Aussies would be tempted to do the same. Notably, debutant off-spinner Todd Murphy starred in the series opener in Nagpur and claimed a seven-fer (7/124). Australia's other specialist spinner, Nathan Lyon took a solitary wicket.
Can Kuhnemann get a go in Delhi?
Notably, Murphy was selected ahead of veteran left-arm spinner Ashton Agar, who owns just nine wickets in five Tests. Hence, Kuhnemann might be preferred ahead of him. His selection would mean Australia will have to play three spinners. Pace-bowling all-rounder Cameron Green's fitness and ability to bowl would be critical to Kuhnemann's selection. Notably, Green missed the opener due to an injured finger.
Stakes are high in the series
Notably, the ongoing series is the last assignment of both teams in the ongoing ICC World Test Championship cycle. Though the Aussies are all but through, they require at least a draw to officially seal a place in the final. A win in Delhi next will enhance India's chances. Notably, Australia last won a Test series against India in 2014-15.