Leg-spinner Mitchell Swepson believes enhanced focus on consistency with his line and length has led to better domestic performances and has earned him greater trust of the Australian team management as he could well pair-up with off-spinner Nathan Lyon and make his debut in the New Year's Test in Sydney against New Zealand.
In the 30 Sheffield Shield games prior to this summer, Swepson took just 83 wickets at an average of 38.24. But this season, the 26-year-old averaged 26.58 for his 12 wickets in four Shield encounters before regaining his place in the side. Swepson, in 2017, was among Australia's back-up spin options for the tours to India and Bangladesh.
"As a legspinner you're quite an attacking option but I wanted to become a lot more consistent and try and go for a few less runs," cricket.com.au quoted him as saying. "In the past, I've been quite an expensive legspinner, which I guess you sort of expect from a leggie. But this year I went about trying to become a lot more consistent."
"I just changed a few little technical things that helped with that, done a lot of work with John Davison up in Queensland, he's been great for my bowling over my whole career," Swepson added.
"And more recently Craig Howard has been great to work with in the pre-season, so just a few little tweaks here and there have really helped this year."
Swepson now seems to have successfully leapfrogged the likes of Steve O'Keefe, Jon Holland and Ashton Agar in Australia's pecking order for spinners behind Lyon. "I think I have improved a lot since then (when he was last part of the Test squad)," he said. "Back then I was picked more on potential … and I've had a couple more years extra now in first-class cricket."
"Coming back this time, I have probably earned my spot a little more on performances rather than potential," Swepson added.
"That's a positive thing for me, I've been able to go away and do a bit better in the Shield competition. I'd say I'm probably better prepared going forward from here."
(Inputs from cricket.com.au)