Mitch Swepson, the 30-year-old leg-spinner feel discontented with Queensland’s decision to swap him and his co-test spinner, Matt Kuhnemann. However, despite the situation, he finds gratification in concentrating on red ball cricket, a decision vindicated after prevailing over Victoria on Tuesday.
The leg-spinner skillfully claimed the last two wickets during Day 4 of the Sheffield Shield, culminating in a five-wicket haul. This led the Bulls to a decisive triumph over Victoria by an innings and 104 runs. Despite having four Tests to his name, Swepson fell behind Kuhnemann in the Australian line-up during this year’s India tour. Consequently, his performances have been limited exclusively to the Shield this season, while Kuhnemann represents them in the Marsh Cup.
The encompassing circumstances have so far not allowed for the pair to play simultaneously, with Queensland opting to offer each the opportunity to excel within their respective format. In spite of the predicament, Swepson has demonstrated commendable progress during this Shield season, earning 10 wickets at 17 in his two matches. Nevertheless, it’s unlikely he’ll supersede Kuhnemann in the one-day frame on Thursday against Victoria, especially after Kuhnemann’s 2-39 victory over NSW last week.
Swepson believes that the situation is tricky, yet the Bulls are doing their utmost to cope. “You want to be playing as much cricket as you can,” he said, emphasizing the value they both bring being spinners who’ve played for Australia, however acknowledging the intricate nature of managing such a situation.
Praising Kuhnemann as a tremendous bowler, Swepson empathized with his colleague’s frustration at not getting enough overs during the Shield games. Reciprocally, he was experiencing similar annoyance at being unable to play one-day cricket. Regardless, he took pleasure in honing his red ball game, and believes this is reflecting positively on his performance.
Prior to his homecoming for the birth of his child, Swepson had taken on the second spinner duties during his tours of Pakistan and Sri Lanka, with plans for continuing the same in India in the offing. However, upon his return, he was overtaken by Kuhnemann. Looking forward to a potentially hot and dry season, Swepson remains hopeful that the pair can play together more frequently.
Peter Handscomb and Todd Murphy attempted to counter the Bulls on Day 4 at Mackay. Yet, their resistance merely lasted for just over an hour before Jack Wildermuth caught Handscomb off guard and Swepson seized the last two wickets.
Handscomb, however, was unruffled by Victoria’s second consecutive hefty loss. With minor variances from the previous season’s team that reached the Sheffield Shield final, he believes now it is not the right time to panic nor to make any drastic changes. “We’ll stay calm, we’ll keep doing what we’re doing and trust in that process,” Handscomb opined, expressing his faith in things turning around for Victoria in the near future.