x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 17 January 2018

Australia cricketer Usman Khawaja puts spin on India bowlers

Australia batsman Usman Khawaj said his team is ready for India, Sri Lanka's Mahela Jayawardene is ruled out against Bangladesh and South Africa adds swing bowler Kyle Abbott before final Test against Pakistan.

Australia's Usman Khawaja said his team is ready for what could be four spinners from India in their upcoming four-Test series. Mark Kolbe / Getty Images
Australia's Usman Khawaja said his team is ready for what could be four spinners from India in their upcoming four-Test series. Mark Kolbe / Getty Images

The Australia batsman Usman Khawaja says the weight of expectation could burden India's spin bowlers in the four-Test series starting on Friday.

Spin traditionally plays a major role in Test matches in India, with the hosts expected to select up to four spinners for the first Test in Chennai.

"We've had enough practice and we are as ready as we are ever going to be," Khawaja said. "The Indian spinners have a lot of pressure on them because if it is a turning wicket, they will be expected to take wickets."

Australia, whose three-day match against India A ended in a draw on Monday, must decide whether to go with three seamers or two spinners.

"It will be interesting to see what Michael Clarke [the captain] and Mickey Arthur [the coach] decide for the first Test," Khawaja said.

"I think it all depends on the conditions we get served up in Chennai."

Khawaja conceded the Indian spinners had put the heat on the visiting batsmen during the three-day match.

Australia were all out for 235 in reply to India A's total of 451, prompting the hosts to enforce the follow-on. The Australians reached 195 for three in their second innings, avoiding an embarrassing innings defeat ahead of the first Test.

"In terms of practice, this is obviously what the spinners wanted," Khawaja said."It obviously didn't go as well for them as it did for the Indian spinners, but the Indian batsmen also batted really well. You've got to give credit to the spinners.

"They used the conditions brilliantly and put pressure on us. It was good to get out there and put ourselves under a bit of pressure."

Elsewhere, the former Sri Lanka captain, Mahela Jayawardene, has been ruled out of next month's two-Test home series against Bangladesh after dislocating the middle finger of his left hand in a domestic match on Sunday.

Jayawardene injured his finger while fielding in the slips during the Singhalese Sports Club's Premier league match against Nondescript's Cricket Club.

Another former captain Kumar Sangakkara is also fighting to recover in time for the first Test starting in Galle on March 8.

Sangakkara had his left index finger broken by the Australia fast bowler Mitchell Johnson during the Boxing Day Test in Melbourne and had a pin and plate inserted for his injury.

The left-handed batsman has begun having light batting sessions in the nets but is still uncertain for the Galle Test.

South Africa have added the uncapped swing bowler Kyle Abbott to their squad for the third and final Test against Pakistan at Centurion starting on Friday.

A hamstring injury has ruled Morne Morkel out of the match and he will be replaced by the 29 year old Rory Kleinveldt, who has played three Tests, in the starting XI.

Abbott has been drafted in as cover in the squad after Lonwabo Tsotsobe was also ruled out through injury.

South Africa, the top-ranked Test side in the world, lead the three-match series 2-0.


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