• ‘We need to play spin better’

    Big hitter Glenn Maxwell has admitted Australia don’t play spin bowling well enough in subcontinent conditions.

    His captain Steve Smith had earlier this week called on the Proteas to ask the groundsmen at Kingsmead, the Wanderers and Newlands to prepare ‘spinning’ pitches for the three-match series.

    South Africa’s coach, Russell Domingo, labelled the request ‘far-fetched’.

    ‘I think to get a wicket in Johannesburg that’s going to spin and to be a bit subcontinent-like is going to be very far-fetched,’ Domingo said.

    ‘The groundsman will prepare what they deem best. It’s very difficult to get those [subcontinent] type of wickets, particularly at night, at this time of year. Durban is one that’s been really good; good pace, good bounce.

    ‘I’m expecting it to continue to be along those similar lines in this series. It’s very difficult to replicate those conditions [found in India] in South Africa.’

    Maxwell said Australia have been susceptible to elite spin bowling in the past.

    ‘Our records haven’t been great in the subcontinent playing excellent spin or the top spinners in the world,’ Maxwell said.

    ‘You’ve only got to look back at our last performance in the 2014 [World T20] in Bangladesh [where Australia failed to exit the group stage with losses to the West Indies, India and Pakistan. Australia will face the latter two nations in the group stage next month].

    ‘Saeed Ajmal, Shahid Afridi, Sunil Narine, these top–class spinners, we struggled against. That’s going to be a massive thing. It is a big focus for us to be better at that and if you look at our batting order it’s suited to hopefully combat that. We’ve got excellent players of spin in our team and guys who have got experience over here and over in India.

    ‘It’s going to be pretty key for us to have those guys perform for us really well for us and combat the spin in the other teams.’

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