Australia Considering Xavier Doherty In Spin-Friendly Dubai

Australia may opt to replace out of sorts pace bowler James Faulkner with a second spinner ahead of Friday’s second one-day international against Pakistan.

The Aussie tour of the United Arab Emirates returns to Dubai for the middle of three ODI hit outs with Pakistan ahead of a pair of Tests, commencing on October 22, and some recent success could tempt the visitors to pair Nathan Lyon with a second spinner.

The UAE’s spin-friendly pitches drew the ire of Australian one-day captain George Bailey earlier in the week, but last Sunday’s six-wicket Twenty20 match at the same Dubai International Cricket Stadium may provide Xavier Doherty with a chance to shine after spinners Glenn Maxwell and Cameron Boyce combined for a 5-23 haul in the big win.

Doherty joined Australian training on Thursday, replacing the injured Mitch Marsh, following a strong campaign at the recent Champions League Twenty20 in India.

“The team’s medical staff have now confirmed that Mitchell Marsh will not take part in any of the ODI series following his hamstring injury. As selectors we have decided to replace him with Xavier for this component of the tour,” national selector Rod Marsh said.

“As such, we have elected to bring Xavier over to Dubai as an extra spinning option. He performed very well for the Hobart Hurricanes in India during the recent Champions League and is an experienced campaigner,” Marsh added.

Faulkner conceded 20 runs in his two overs on Tuesday night while Doherty collected seven wickets at an average of 14.42 in four Champions League contests, including one match of 4-27.

Also under consideration is left-arm quick Mitchell Starc, who did not play in Tuesday’s 93-run win in the series opener.  

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