Aussies look to twin spinners for respite on difficult pitch – Cricket News Update
The burden of responsibility is heavy on the shoulders of Australia’s spin twins, Nathan Lyon and Michael Beer, as the 2nd day of their second Test against the West Indies begins on April 16 at the Queen's Park Oval in Port of Spain, Trinidad.
“… playing two spinners in these conditions is going to be very important,” vice captain Shane Watson observed.
The Australian side took a gamble and in preparation for a difficult battle on the slow, tricky surface at the Queen’s Park Oval, opting to employ two spinners – Lyon and Beer, who will be expected to spearhead the Aussie bowling attack on the second day
of play. A similar move was taken during a Test series against India in 2008, when both Jason Krejza and Cameron White were brought in for the fourth Test.
“…it’s [the wicket] only going to get worse. The foot marks are only going to dust up and get worse so it was a perfect opportunity to play two spinners and see how they [the West Indies] are able to handle it,” the all-rounder commented, adding that the
pitch was bound to get slower and turn more.
Lyon made an impressive debut against Sri Lanka last year, but since then his good performances have been fairly sporadic. Beer, on the other hand, has only ever played one Test, against England in January last year. Whether they can manage to manipulate
the pitch effectively remains to be seen.
The first day of play began with the tourists winning the toss and choosing to bat. However, the pitch proved to be everything the visitors had feared – offering early turn from day one, the fast-deteriorating surface made it near impossible for the batsmen
to score any runs.
David Warner and Ed Cowan put up a 53-run opening stand, and the spin-friendly nature of the surface was confirmed when off-spinner Shane Shillingford, brought in specifically owing to the nature of the pitch, claimed the first wicket, taking Warner out
in the 16th over.
Watson took to the crease later on, proving to be the only highlight of the Aussies’ performance on day one, and remaining the sole batsman to score a half century (56). His efforts painstakingly brought the team to 178, after which he too fell prey to Shillingford.
Day 1 ended with Michael Hussey (26) and Matthew Wade (11) at the crease, with the Aussies at 208 for 5.
“We were looking to score but the way the wicket was and with the way the ball was it was hard to pierce the field,” Watson pointed out. “No doubt if we can get around 300 it will be a good first innings score.”