Cricket Australia made a surprise pick in their squad for the upcoming tour of India, where the two sides will play four Tests. A 23-year-old leg spinner, Mitchell Swepson, flew with Steven Smith and Co to Dubai for an intense training before heading to Mumbai for their first warm-up match.
Although Swepson did not bag a place in the playing XI for the tour game that begun at Brabourne Stadium on Friday, Cricket Australia has shown faith in Swepson’s potential. He was picked ahead of limited-overs leg spinner, Adam Zampa. He has completed Australia’s spin quartet along with Nathan Lyon, Ashton Agar and Steve O’Keefe.
Swepson eventually might be Australia’s trump card as the Indian side would not have done enough homework about the new inclusion.
Here are 10 things you must know about the new visitor in India:
Birth Place: The leg-spinner was born in Brisbane, Queensland on October 4, 1993, and he currently resides there.
Family: He is the son of Des and Kylie Swepson. He has two brothers – Jordon and Ryan. The latter is a doctorate.
Club cricket: As a 16-year-old, Swepson played for Sandgate-Redcliffe cricket and Trevor Hohns, one of the club’s most decorated players, was back helping the club as a selector. Hohns, who has closely seen Swepson grow in the sport and also mentored him during his Sandgate days, is the current interim selector of Cricket Australia.
Teams so far: It has been eight years since he entered professional cricket and so far the Queenslander has represented Brisbane Heat (BBL), Cricket Australia XI (List A) and Queensland (First-Class).
Early international call: Swepson, who made his First-Class debut in 2015, has played only 14 FC games and is yet to claim a five-for. Although he has just 41 wickets from those 14 games, he gained selectors’s confidence with an impressive performance in Australia A last year.
Best figures: Swepson’s career-best figures in First-Class came against South Africa when he bagged 4 for 33 before he repeated the feat by taking 4 for 78 against India A in 2016.
Shane Warne’s blessings: The legendary spinner had publicly recommended Swepson. On Twitter or during the commentary, Warne had endorsed the young talent thoroughly. This was not the first time Warne had recommended an unknown player. In 2010, he plucked Michael Beer from obscurity into the Ashes squad. Beer had a First-Class experience of just two months then.
He is no pupil of Warne: Swepson has built his own image and technique. “I never really modelled my bowling on anyone,” Swepson said. Cricket Australia earlier had suggested that Swepson was considered because he can “give the ball a good rip and is a wicket-taker leggie who has come through the pathway system.”
Fanboy: The 23-year-old leggie watches Warne’s bowling footages but as a fan. He also adores Brett Lee and loves watching his days when he bowled at 160kmph.
Education: The soon to be an international cricketer still has six subjects left in an exercise and business management course at university. Now that he is in India, studies may have to wait.