Cummins expects spin and seam from Karachi pitch; includes leggie Swepson

By our correspondent
KARACHI: Australia have decided to give chance to their inexperienced leggie Mitchell Swepson for the second Test against Pakistan which will begin here at the National Stadium from Saturday.
Australia’s skipper Pat Cummins revealed this at a virtual pre-match news conference here on Friday.
He has replaced seamer Josh Hazzlewood.
Having played just seven T20I the 28-year old Queensland bowler will make his debut at a time when leg-spin king Shane Warne is no more in this world. And Cummins believes that Swepson is ready for the task.
“He is pumped and to be honest we are all pumped for Sweppo. He has spent a lot of time running drinks the last couple of years. He is absolutely ready,” Pat said at the news conference.
“He has been a huge part of the squad, though he has not been playing. We are very excited to see him get a chance,” the Australia skipper said.
Cummins feels that the National Stadium wicket looks drier and may back spinners.
“I think the wicket here looks a little bit drier and historically a bit friendlier to the spinners, particularly a wrest-spinner with Sweppo quality gives us a good opportunity to get 20 wickets and I think he is ready and I am excited for him,” Cummins said.
“I expect this wicket to break up a little bit more. I don’t think that from ball one of the Test match it’s going to be ragging but I think there will be a bit more rough,” the skipper said.
“From what we learned from the first Test, it’s always nice to have an attacking bowler from one end and a more holding role down the other. But different times call for different methods and I am confident that even as a leg-spinner Sweppo can really play that holding role if needed,” Cummins said.
Asked whether Pakistani spinners will be a threat to the Australian batsmen in the second Test Cummins said that spinners may be more lethal.
“Yes history shows spinners will be more damaging here than the pacemen. In the first Test our batsmen played really well and quite a few lost wickets in non-traditional ways and I think our batters will negotiate well the two spinners here,” Cummins added.
Hazzlewood has been rested as Starc, Cummins himself and Green are more suited to bowl in dry conditions at Karachi.
Cummins also expects reverse swing at the NSK to play a role.
“I think it will be a bigger factor here, the squares are a lot drier. With rain around in Rawalpindi the ball got quite soft and damp at times so I think it will be a much bigger factor here and probably much earlier on as well,” Cummins said.
“Even on day one I would not be surprised if you see it reversing,” Cummins was quick to add.
“Starc and I have both played a lot of cricket with reversing balls, so I feel like we are ready to go. And I was really happy with how Green went in the first Test,” he said.
“As a fifth bowling option after spinners Nathan Lyon and Swepson, Green might be more of a holding role but if the ball starts reversing he bowls 140 kph so he could be a real asset then as well,” said Cummins.
Cummins was happy with the way his team played in the first Test at Rawalpindi.
“Overall I was very happy with how we stuck at it. I think one of the learnings was before coming here we spoke about managing the tempo of the game,” he said.
“And we did that brilliantly during the first game. Obviously we did not get as many wickets as we would have liked but we never let the run rate slip which I think on the past tours of the sub-continent we have. We never lost control of the game. I think we took four wickets in the game. It was a pretty benign wicket. I think we could have looked at ways of being more creative and try new things but I think we overall lift that Test match,” said the skipper.
None of the top four Australian batsmen could convert their solid innings into hundreds in Rawalpindi and Cummins said they discussed that matter.
“Yes, we spoke about that after the game. There are some good positives from the batting to get the high 400s. Over here if you get yourself in you need to capitalize. We missed a chance to put a good lead ahead and may be, had a chance to bowl on day-5 with a little bit of lead,” he said. “We have been training hard during the last couple of days and this wicket will provide a couple of more questions. Yes, I am full confident,” Cummins said.