Australia ponder bowling options for second test

Last updated 07:32 27/02/2013
Mitchell Starc
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ZERO FOR: Left-arm paceman Mitchell Starc went wicket-less in the first test for the first time in his eight-test career.

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Australia captain and co-selector Michael Clarke says it's too early to make a call on playing two spinners in Saturday's second test against India in Hyderabad.

India captain MS Dhoni said after his side's eight-wicket win in Tuesday's first test in Chennai that he felt Australia made a mistake by picking only one specialist slow bowler.

Offspinner Nathan Lyon claimed 3-215 and 1-29 in his first test on Indian soil, amid debate over whether Australia should have discarded one of their three pacemen for back-up spinner Xavier Doherty.

India's slow bowlers claimed all 20 Australian wickets in Chennai while right-arm quick James Pattinson (5-96 and 1-13) was the pick of the bowlers for the tourists.

Left-arm paceman Mitchell Starc went wicket-less for the first time in his eight-test career.

"If you see Australia now they rely a lot on their fast bowlers," Dhoni said.

"At the start of this series they wanted to go with what their strength was. After four days of cricket maybe Michael (Clarke) would think it would have been better if they would have gone with another spinner.

"But at times it's easier to decide on these things once a test match is over because then you have the whole result in front of you."

Clarke said the fine debut of seam-bowling all-rounder Moises Henriques, including two half-centuries, meant the Aussies could consider playing two spinners and and two frontline quicks this weekend.

"If we don't have a third fast bowler Moises can certainly do that role," Clarke said.

"It's very exciting the way he has started.

"He looked very comfortable with both bat and ball.

"Right now I can't answer that question (on playing two spinners)," Clarke added.

"I need to see conditions in Hyderabad, wait and see what the wicket is like, and then the selectors can meet and make a call on that.

"You have got to pick what you think is your best 11 and back that.

"You can talk about selection as much as you like but the 11 players you select have got to perform better than we did in this test.

"Look at the amount of wickets fast bowling got compared to spin for the Australian team. We are not India.

"We are a different team. We have different fast bowlers to the Indian fast bowlers.

"We have different spinners to the Indian spinners."

Meanwhile, Australian high-performance chief Pat Howard and the team's head of security have travelled early to Hyderabad for meetings reassuring them of player safety following bombings in the city that killed 12 people last week.

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Clarke's team are due to fly to Hyderabad on Wednesday but Howard and Frank Dimasi, Cricket Australia's full-time security official, have been there since Monday holding talks with Indian board officials and police.

The location of the second test was thrown into doubt last Thursday after twin blasts near bus stands in the city, about 10 kilometres from the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium, where the match is to be played. The bombs, attached to park bicycles, left 12 dead and more than 80 people injured.

The Board of Control for Cricket in India has since ruled out shifting the second test away from the venue.

The CA officials met the Hyderabad police commissioner during. Indian media reported that security for the test would be increased significantly as a result of the explosions.

The secretary of the Hyderabad Cricket Association, MV Sridhar, said he had been assured by the state's Chief Minister, N Kiran Kumar Reddy, of the extent of security for the match. ''He said he would not compromise on anything. He assured us full support,'' he said.

It was also reported that leaflets outlining security precautions would be distributed at the ground.

- AAP and Sydney Morning Herald

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