Langer backs Lyon and Zampa but says they need to pick wickets for 2019 WC contention

Both Lyon and Zampa failed to take any wickets in the recently concluded ODI series against India.

Though Langer backed Lyon and Zampa, he said, both had to pick wickets if they wanted to play 2019 WC | GettyAustralia failed to win any series against India recently, as the visitors created history by winning their maiden Test series and bilateral ODI series, leaving the hosts with lots of questions before the upcoming 2019 World Cup.

In the final ODI Yuzvendra Chahal picked a career-best 6/42 and even before that, Indian spinners kept a tight leash on scoring in mid overs. On the other hand, while Nathan Lyon kept the things tight, he failed to pick any wickets in the two matches he played. He was replaced by leggie Adam Zampa, who also failed to pick any wicket.

Coach Justin Langer put forth his views, saying, "We have identified, though, that you have got to, between the 10-and-40-over mark, we have got to take wickets otherwise it gets down to the end and that's what happened to us (on Friday night). We lost wickets in the middle overs and then you get down to the end and you haven't got your main batsmen in.

Shane Warne had called for Lyon to develop varieties if he wanted to play the World Cup. Warne had said, "He just needs to develop a faster one or a top spinner or something that goes the other way (doosra) to be successful in this form of the game."

"Nathan Lyon is probably the best off-spinner in the world. The reason why he didn't play (on Friday night) is that we felt that he had played two games on the back of the philosophy of trying to take wickets ... then we hadn't taken any wickets and also with the number of right handers in the Indian side, we decided to go with 'Zamps' to spin the ball away from the bat rather than into it," Langer said.​​​​

Langer added, "But Nathan Lyon is a gun. He is a world-class spinner ... he is a very good fielder and one of our senior members of the team. We don’t traditionally play two spinners in one-day cricket, but it might come up in the World Cup. And certainly, in India and the UAE, there’s a good chance that will happen. There might be opportunities … where you might play both of them. If it doesn’t, depending on the opposition, we’ll pick one of those two to play in the World Cup.

Langer also had some good words for Zampa, "If he can spin the ball both ways, he becomes a fantastic option for us, as we are seeing all round the world. It's no secret to anyone that the leg-spinner is having a huge impact on the game and most of them who are can spin it both ways and 'Zamps' showed, some of those leggies he bowled and wrong-uns, was very pleasing."

Justin Langer also spoke about Australia’s 2019 World Cup plans after both Steve Smith and David Warner suffered elbow injuries during the Bangladesh Premier League, with Smith undergoing surgery. Warner, too, will have to undergo surgery after he comes back to Australia.

Steve has had surgery, David is having surgery so we will have to wait to see how their recovery goes | Getty"I am sure that will change things a bit with their injury. Steve has had surgery, David is having surgery so we will have to wait to see how their recovery goes," Langer said.

"We haven't come to any conclusions with that yet. There is a lot to be talked about. We have to weigh up between competitive games of cricket, probably in the IPL, and whether it's worth them being there for the last few games (in the UAE)," Langer signed off.

( inputs)


By Jatin Sharma - 19 Jan, 2019

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