Mitch Swepson was the bolter for Australia's Test squad.
Mitch Swepson was the bolter for Australia's Test squad. RICHARD WAINWRIGHT

Swepson gets the backing of spin rival

WHEN Mitchell Swepson was chosen for Australia on Sunday, the first beep on his phone came from a man who would have loved the call-up himself.

Pakistani-born Fawad Ahmed, who was chosen for the last Ashes tour before being discarded, touched base to wish him the best and the gesture reinforced the close-knit nature of the leg-spin community.

It is a world where rivals often become friends because only they can truly understand the stresses of their trade.

"Fawad was the first message I got and he has always offered his help, and he said if I ever needed anything, he gave me his number,” Swepson said after returning from Melbourne following the Brisbane Heat's win over the Stars in the Big Bash.

Queensland's India-bound leggie is yet to meet with his strong supporter, Shane Warne, who was away on a family holiday when Swepson was in Melbourne.

That meeting will happen eventually but, with the likes of Ahmed around, there is no shortage of advice if needed.

"Fawad is a good fellow and, as another leggie, it is good to be able to go through someone like him if I needed advice,” Swepson added.

The biff and barge of Twenty20 cricket may seem a world away from the challenges Swepson will face in India but he feels the Big Bash is playing its part in preparing him for cricket's most testing tour.

"You have to have variation in the Big Bash and that is one thing you will need in India.

"Also, in India, you need to bowl a bit quicker.

"Being able to bowl quick through the air is important in India and it works in the Big Bash as well.”

Swepson has taken 11 Big Bash wickets - including four two-wicket hauls in a row - and can feel his confidence rising by the match.

His next outing will be before a sellout Gabba crowd against the Melbourne Renagades on Friday night.


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