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India v Australia 2022/23

‘Big gamble’ – Australia’s unusual team composition for Delhi Test raises eyebrows

by Wisden Staff 2 minute read

Australia raised eyebrows with their selection for the second Test in a row, opting to give a debut to left-arm spinner Matt Kuhnemann in a side featuring just one frontline quick at Delhi.

Travis Head – the number four ranked Test batter in the world – was recalled to the side after his controversial omission at Nagpur as Australia sought to level the series after an innings defeat at Nagpur.

Kuhnemann was only added to the Australia squad after the first Test, with leg-spinner Mitch Swepson travelling back to Australia for the birth of his child. Kuhnemann, 26, has just 13 career first-class appearances to his name, often finding himself below Swepson in the pecking order at Queensland.


Kuhnemann, who has played just twice in the Sheffield Shield this season, was preferred to Ashton Agar who recently played as Australia’s second spinner against South Africa but is yet to make an appearance on the ongoing India tour. His Test call-up caps a rapid rise with his maiden Test appearance coming exactly two years to the day after his first-class debut.

The balance of Australia’s side was also a talking point ahead of the first day, with captain Pat Cummins operating as the side’s sole frontline seamer. Dinesh Karthik questioned the composition of the Australia side, describing the decision to field just one seamer as a “big gamble.”

Ahead of the Test, former Australia captain Allan Border urged Australia to go in the opposite direction by fielding three seamers and just one seamer.

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