Former Australian captain Allan Border has claimed he would make the tough call and drop spin sensation Todd Murphy for the second Test against India and go with a three-man quick attack. The selectors have come under fire since India demolished Australia by an innings and 132 runs in the first Test in Nagpur.
Travis Head, one of Australia's in-form batters, was dropped due to his historic struggles against spin in the subcontinent for Matt Renshaw. Debutant right-arm offspinner Murphy was also introduced and the pair had opposite fortunes.
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Renshaw was out cheaply in both innings, while Murphy was the star for Australia taking seven wickets. Plenty of calls are growing for Head to regain his spot, while veteran David Warner has come under fire for his lack of runs in India.
However, Aussie cricket legend Border has made the bold call and urged the team to play to its strengths and pick three quicks. While the majority of all the wickets for both Australia and India in Nagpur were taken by spin bowlers, Border doesn't think that plays to our strengths.
“We tend to look at the pitches that are gonna turn and say we should play with a couple of spinners. I’m a bit the other way – I think we should go with our strengths, go with our fast bowlers, bowl with certain plans to their batsman, subtle different changes of tactics, and play with the three quicks and just the one spinner," he said on SEN Radio.
“That formula has worked for us generally. And when we’ve done in India in the past, it’s on the back of (Glenn) McGrath, (Michael) Kasprowicz, Jason Gillespie – these guys. Fast bowlers doing a really good job for us and getting the 20 wickets.”
And in a bold call, Border said debutant sensation Murphy would be the one he would drop from the team. This would leave veteran Nathan Lyon as the main spinner.
“That’s the million dollar question. You’ve got to go with (Nathan) Lyon, he’s built up enough brownie points over the years to be the first picked.
“Well done to young (Todd) Murphy, it’s going to be a tough decision to leave him out, I know the wicket is going to turn but I just reckon the formula for us to be successful (is) three quickies and one spinner."
Allan Border would give David Warner one more shot
There has also been plenty of debate on whether Warner should retain his spot as opener. Following Warner's two cheap dismissals in Nagpur, the opener's average has dropped to 22.17 across 11 innings in India.
Ravi Ashwin has dismissed Warner 11 times across his career, which is second only to English quick Stuart Broad. Ravi Jadeja has taken Warner's wicket four times in India. Warner's poor run of form has some questioning whether he should be picked for the second Test.
Calls are growing for Travis Head to open the batting or Matt Renshaw to move up the order. While Border admits Warner is under plenty of pressure to retain his spot in the team, he doesn't think he should be dropped for the second Test.
“We could (see Warner dropped this series). I don’t like to say it because he’s been so good for us … we just need to see something more from him at the top of the order.
“You’re still going to play him in this Test match. But it’s starting to get to the point where you say David might have to move on. That could happen very soon.”
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