Young offspinner Glenn Maxwell was Australia’s leading wicket-taker in his debut Test but he might find he’s back to running drinks very soon.
The 24-year-old boasts a bowling average of 31.75 after his 4-127 off 26 overs in India’s first innings of 503 as the home side claimed victory by an innings and 135 runs in the second Test in Hyderabad on Tuesday.
But coach and selector Mickey Arthur said on Wednesday Maxwell’s economy rate of 4.88 runs per over is a cause for concern.
The pitch in Mohali for the third Test starting on March 14 has a reputation for bounce and carry for the quicks, which suggests Maxwell’s spot could be in doubt as the second spinner.
Maxwell batted at No.8 (scoring 13 and eight) as the second allrounder behind seamer Moises Henriques at No.7.
Maxwell was the back-up spinner to left-armer Xavier Doherty in the second Test, with Doherty taking 3-131 off 46.1 overs and failing to strike until his 43rd over.
Doherty could also make way for a returning offspinner Nathan Lyon, who was moved aside and told to work on technical issues after taking 3-215 and 1-29 in the first Test in Chennai.
“Nathan still has a massive future and probably he is up there as our best spinner at the moment,” Arthur said.
“Doherty did what we know Doherty can do. He ran in, he went at under three an over and he caused problems when there was stuff for him to work with.
“Maxi was probably a little bit too loose.
“He’s taken four wickets. He’s created opportunities.
“But he’s gone at over four-and-a-half an over.”
Arthur wants a twin-spin attack to bowl tightly in a partnership.
“We weren’t able to do that because Maxi leaked a little bit,” Arthur said.
Australia played only two pace bowlers — Peter Siddle and James Pattinson — plus Henriques and two spinners in the second Test.
Left-armers Mitchell Starc and Mitchell Johnson are the two back-up quicks in the 16-man squad.