Voges set for Test debut vs Windies

It could just be a simple handshake, but it looks the key clue to suggest Adam Voges will make his Test debut for Australia.

On the eve of the opening Test against the West Indies in Dominica, Voges was singled out by coach Darren Lehmann and selector Mark Waugh at the team’s final training session at Windsor Park.

Both men shook the 35-year-old’s hand during a brief chat out in the middle of the sun-soaked ground while another Test aspirant, leg-spinner Fawad Ahmed, toiled away unnoticed some 20 metres away.

Australia’s final XI will not be revealed until Wednesday’s toss but Voges’ conversation with the two men was telling given the pair are charged with picking the team.

Both then observed Voges bowling his left-arm spin in tandem with Nathan Lyon while Fawad wandered off early, seemingly overlooked.

Captain Michael Clarke said as far as he knew, nothing had been confirmed.

“Mark Waugh’s here today so I’m pretty sure he’ll have a look at the conditions and he and Boof will come up with a team,” Clarke said.

“I’m not sure if I’ll get it this afternoon or tomorrow.”

Voges’ likely selection is the most conservative call for the conditions.

With uncertainty still surrounding just how much turn the spin-friendly Windsor Park pitch will offer, Australia’s biggest strength – the pace bowling of Mitchell Starc, Mitchell Johnson and Josh Hazlewood – appears to have won out.

Picking Voges means if spin does turn out to be the decisive factor, he’ll give Clarke an extra option along with Lyon.

The decision to avoid playing two frontline spinners is also backed by recent history for Australia.

Not since Shane Warne and Stuart MacGill helped defeat South Africa in 2006 have Australia won a Test against a nation other than Bangladesh with two spinners in their attack.

Last October’s series with Pakistan was the last time Australia picked two spinners, with Stephen O’Keefe and Nathan Lyon taking a combined 6-439 in the opening Test in Dubai as Pakistan cruised to 221-run win.

Clarke says whoever gets picked, those believing his team will cruise to victory are in for a rude shock.

“The West Indies have a really good team,” he said.

“They’ve got a couple of very good spinners and their fast bowling is very strong as well.

“We have to make sure we’re switched on with the bat.

“We know we’re going to have to play some really good cricket to beat them.”

The first Test begins at 10am Wednesday (0000 AEST).

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