Better for the experience of a tough tour of Pakistan, Australian leg-spinner bowler Mitch Swepson is ready for his next challenge on the subcontinent.
Mitch Swepson’s tough and luckless Test cricket initiation in Pakistan has him hardened for another subcontinental scrap in Sri Lanka.
Having patiently waited for a Test match opportunity, the 28-year-old Queensland leg-spinner finally got his chance during Australia’s March series in Pakistan.
Swepson played in the final two Tests of the three-match series – won 1-0 by Australia – and toiled manfully for the tourists.
However, his hard work wasn’t reflected in his figures, as he finished the series with just two wickets – both taken in one innings – at a bowling average of 133.
But while not totally satisfied with his performance, Swepson deserved better, with a host of chances being dropped off his bowling.
“It’s a part of cricket – sometimes things go your way, sometimes they don’t,” Swepson said on Monday.
“In saying that, I could have bowled better. There are things I could have done. I’m just glad I had the experience to get out there and learn, make those mistakes and then be able to come back and work hard on my game and go back out there and try to right those wrongs.
“It’s just made me more hungry to get better, improve and go back out there to see if the luck turns this time.
“If I’d gone there (Pakistan) and taken a bag full of wickets, maybe I wouldn’t have come back and worked as hard on my game as I have, so I’ve only tried to take the positives out of the fact that Test cricket is hard, and it’s supposed to be hard.”
Swepson leaves this week for Sri Lanka, where Australia will play two Tests, five one-day internationals and T20 matches.
To prepare for the tour, he has bowled on the subcontinent-type wicket that is part of the practice facilities at Allan Border Field in Brisbane.
“I’ve had a little taste (in Pakistan) as to how those conditions can sometimes play out and what the batters tend to do in those conditions,” Swepson said.
“In saying that, I think Sri Lanka may take spin a little bit more.
“It’s only an assumption at this point, but we’ll have to get there and adapt on the run, but I’m just looking forward to again experiencing cricket in another country and just looking to grow and keep learning.
“As a spinner, it’s always exciting going to the subcontinent.”
The June-July tour of Sri Lanka is the start of a hectic schedule for the Australian team, with ODI series against Zimbabwe and New Zealand, and T20 series against West Indies and England taking place before the T20 World Cup in October.
Following the World Cup, the Australians will play an ODI series against England, a two-Test series against the West Indies and a three-Test series against South Africa.
“It’s jam packed but it’s exciting,” Swepson said.
“It’s a great opportunity to test the depth of Australian cricket because it’s going to be needed with such a tight schedule.”