Australia “likely” to go unchanged for final Test against the Kiwis

tim paine photo

After taking an unassailable 2-0 lead in the three-match Test series against New Zealand, Australian skipper Tim Paine has given an indication that his side is likely to go unchanged in the third and final Test at the iconic Sydney Cricket Ground.

The 35-year-old cricketer from Hobart opened up about possible changes in the side because uncapped right-arm leg-spinner has been added to the squad for the final game.

Paine, who will be playing his 19th Test match as a captain, revealed that the team would look at the pitch in the morning but it is quite possible that the Aussies will go “unchanged” for the final Test. He further added that if he feels like the team needs to have an extra spinner only then Swepson can find a place in the playing XI.

“We will have a look in the morning. It is likely we will go unchanged but it is still a possibility when we see that wicket tomorrow morning that we would go for another spinner,” Paine said. 

Paine has quite a few spinning options in the team. Marnus Labuschagne and Steve Smith can assist Nathan Lyon as the Test progresses. But if they are looking for a specialist then Swepson might just make the cut.   

Meanwhile, Australia is having a rough time as a country. The bush fires has destroyed certain parts of the country and almost 18 people have died due to extreme conditions. The Aussie captain prayed for everyone’s health and praised the firefighters who are giving their 110% to save lives.

Paine noted that they are the “real heroes” of the nation as they are taking on really extreme conditions and helping everyone those in need. He also explained that the country is going through a lot right now and if his team can put a smile on everyone’s face by playing and winning the games, then there is nothing better than that.

“The firefighters have been the real heroes of this summer. We certainly thank them on behalf of our team and our wishes are with people currently affected,” Paine said.

“The way we look at it is it might be an opportunity for us to provide a distraction for people and a bit of happiness if we can by playing a brand of cricket that Australians are proud of,” added Paine.

The third and final Test of the series will commence on January 3 in Sydney.

New Zealand (Squad) –
Tom Latham, Tom Blundell, Kane Williamson (c), Ross Taylor, Henry Nicholls, Colin de Grandhomme, BJ Watling (wk), Mitchell Santner, Tim Southee, Neil Wagner, Todd Astle, Jeet Raval, Matt Henry, and Will Somerville.

Australia (Squad) –
David Warner, Joe Burns, Marnus Labuschagne, Steven Smith, Matthew Wade, Travis Head, Tim Paine (c & wk), James Pattinson, Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc, Nathan Lyon, Michael Neser, Peter Siddle, and Mitchell Swepson.