Despite injury concerns McGain ready for first Test battle

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New Delhi, Sep 30 (UNI) The form and fitness of leg-spinner Bryce McGain will be the top priority for the world champion Australia in Hyderabad this week when the countdown to the first Test begins.

McGain, who is recovering from a sore shoulder, did not bowl against the Rajasthan Cricket Academy at the weekend.

Team management has deliberately held him back, but Australia's new frontline leg-spinner can expect plenty of overs in the four-day clash against the Board XI, beginning on Thursday.

''I will be playing and can expect plenty of work there,'' McGain said yesterday.

In his favour is that McGain adjusted to Indian conditions and the SG balls used here on the Australia A tour this month.

The Indian balls have a more pronounced seam and change shape quicker than their Kookaburra counterparts in Australia.

Australian coach Tim Nielsen expects McGain to play his first match for his country on Thursday.

McGain is expected to be Australia's specialist spinner in the four-Test series, but that could depend on the Indian line-up.

Australia will have the benefit of picking Greg Chappell's mind for the first two Tests, with the former Australian skipper extending his trip.

While Greg is helping Australia, his brother, former Australian skipper Ian Chappell, has wrote a column in the newspaper to declare Ricky Ponting's men ''beatable''.

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