Australia announce 16-man Test squad for India tour; 4 spinners included

Australia have named a 16-man Test squad for their tour to India in February and March.

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Melbourne, Jan 15: Australia today (January 15) named 4 spinners in their 16-man Test squad for the tour of India in February and March.

Ind-Aus series schedule; 'Don't poke the bear Kohli'

On Sunday, Australia announced their squad which will be captained by Steve Smith. David Warner is the vice-captain. The squad includes 6 batsmen, 4 spinners, 3 pacemen, 2 all-rounders and a wicketkeeper. (Australia call Kohli 'spoilt brat')

Australia and India will play 4 Tests for the Border-Gavaskar Trophy. The series opener starts in Pune on February 23.

The spin quartet features offspinner Nathan Lyon, left-armers Ashton Agar, Seven O'Keefe and uncapped legspinner Mitchell Swepson.

Both Marsh brothers - Shaun and Mitchell were included along with big-hitting all-rounder Glenn Maxwell. Mitchell Starc, Jackson Bird and Josh Hazlewood are the fast bowlers. Matthew Wade is the wicketkeeper. Warner, with 60 Test caps, is the most experiened member of the squad.

Speaking on the make-up of the squad, Interim National Selector Trevor Hohns said the panel chose an additional spin bowler to allow as many options as possible.

"We don't know what pitch conditions we will come up against in each of the venues but wanted to have flexibility and options available to us.

"We know India is an incredibly tough place to tour and have success in, with most International teams struggling to adapt to the conditions, but we have chosen a squad which we believe will work really hard in its endeavours to perform well and give a good account of itself in the sub-continent.

"We expect all of the young players chosen to benefit immensely from the experience."

According to Hohns, uncapped 23-year-old Swepson of Queensland is an "exciting young legspinner" who has "a lot of potential." 

"Mitchell is an exciting young leg-spinner that has come through the pathway system. We feel he has a lot of potential and want to see him take his opportunity in conditions that should suit him should he get a chance," Hohns said.

David Warner will be Smith's deputy

Some of the players will train in Dubai before arriving in India. "Selected members of the squad will depart on January 29 for Dubai to train, before the remainder of the squad follow after the Chappell-Hadlee Series in New Zealand," Cricket Australia (CA) said.

In their last tour to India in 2013, Australia were whitewashed 4-0 by the Mahendra Singh Dhoni-led team. 6 players (Smith, Warner, Maxwell, Wade, Lyon, Usman Khawaja) from the current squad were part of that series.

Australia have not won a Test series in India since 2004. During that tour, they claimed the 4-match rubber 2-1, after 35 years, under Adam Gilchrist (Led in 1st 3 Tests) and Ricky Ponting's captaincy.

Australia Test squad for India tour

1. Steve Smith (captain) - Batsman

2. David Warner (vice-captain) - Left-hand opening batsman

3. Ashton Agar - Left-arm orthodox spinner

4. Jackson Bird - Fast bowler

5. Peter Handscomb - Batsman/wicketkeeper

6. Josh Hazlewood - Right-arm fast bowler

7. Usman Khawaja - Left-hand batsman

8. Nathan Lyon - Offspinner

9. Mitchell Marsh - All-rounder

10. Shaun Marsh - Left-hand batsman

11. Glenn Maxwell - All-rounder

12. Steve O'Keefe - Left-arm orthodox spinner

13. Matthew Renshaw - Left-hand opening batsman

14. Mitchell Starc - Left-arm fast bowler

15. Mitchell Swepson - Legspinner

16. Matthew Wade (wicketkeeper) - Left-hand batsman

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