Third test: Australia keeps New Zealand guessing with turn options
SYDNEY Australia kept New Zealand guessing on Thursday while they weighed using a bowling attack in the final test in Sydney.
The home team, which comfortably won the first two Tests of the three-game series, summoned leg shooter Mitchell Swepson, who could play together with Nathan Lyon, depending on a last-minute launch inspection on Friday.
We're just weighing up whether we play the second spinner and if we did, how we would do that, Captain Tim Paine told reporters ahead of the game, where both teams will wear black armbands for the victims of Australia 's raging bushfires
When JL (coach Justin Langer) spoke yesterday, I think that at this moment it is likely that we will not change, but there is still the possibility, if we see that wicket tomorrow morning, we could play another spinner.
If they go with a second roulette, the mid-order hitter Matthew Wade is the type of probable fall, after the number six Travis Head reached a century in the Boxing Day Test in Melbourne.
An unchanged side would retain Lyon alongside pace spearheads Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc and James Pattinson, who wreaked havoc with the New Zealand batsmen in their 247-run win in Melbourne.
Paine said the team was versatile enough to deal with whether they hit a batter or a fast bowler.
Fortunately we could do both if we had to, he said.
We have some guys on our team that could provide enough flexibility and even with someone like James Pattinson can really lengthen our batting anyway.
Shane Warne, who has defended Swepson, said in a column for the Sydney Daily Telegraph on Thursday that he would like to see him play in Sydney.
I saw him during the test in Melbourne (training) and he is bowling beautifully, he said.
I like your weapons. He has a good mistake, a good leg rest, some good plans and he understands his game very well.
Australia have been unbeatable this season, winning all four Tests at home -- two each against Pakistan and New Zealand -- after retaining the Ashes in England.
Paine has pointed out that teamwork is a crucial factor, with players stepping up when others are having a bad day.