Australia news January 4, 2016

Lyon into World Twenty20 frame


Nathan Lyon has limited experience of playing for Australia in the shorter formats © Getty Images

A paradox, a paradox, a most ingenious paradox. For so long unwanted when it comes to Australia's limited overs plans, Nathan Lyon can take his latest omission from the ODI team as a sign he is actually closer than ever to a start at the next major ICC tournament.

The World Twenty20 in India in March looms as the event in which Lyon will belatedly make his mark as a bowler in Australian gold rather than Test match cream. His exclusion from the squad to face India in five 50-over matches at the start of a new World Cup cycle means that Lyon can play out the remainder of the Big Bash League, honing his T20 skills ahead of 20-over series against India and South Africa that precede the ICC event.

The selector Trevor Hohns said this year's calendar had been a factor in the decision to use only Glenn Maxwell's part-time off spin in the ODIs against India, allowing Lyon to play T20 for the Sydney Sixers ahead of the more pivotal tournament in India. Hohns said that the event on the subcontinent would require more than one spin bowler, meaning Lyon is firming as the man to make the trip.

"Nathan is not far out of the picture ... for one-day cricket, and of course with the [World] T20 coming up it's probably ideal for him to go back and play some of those games," Hohns said. "Also, if we look where we're playing the first few games - you've got Brisbane, you've got Perth - normally you play with your faster bowlers there.

"Glenn Maxwell has done a pretty good job in the spinning role when we're only playing that one type of spinner-cum-allrounder, plus the quicks. I think we'll find that, for the T20 World Cup in particular in those conditions over there, we'll probably need a couple of spinners in our squad. I can't see why [Lyon and Maxwell can't play together] - depending on conditions, of course."

There was a contrasting verdict from Hohns on the young fast man James Pattinson, who has made promising progress in his first Test series back from injury since early 2014. At some times Pattinson has been irresistible, at others eminently hittable, as shown when Carlos Brathwaite went after him on the rain-hit second day of the SCG Test before he responded with a pearler to bowl the allrounder.

Hohns said the panel had been happy with Pattinson's progress, but doubted he would be a limited-overs prospect in the medium term as he build back towards his very best rhythm and speed. "With Patto as we know he's just coming back from pretty extensive injury," Hohns said.

"He's now played a few Test matches on the trot, so we're thinking more about the future for him, rather than just clogging him up immediately and bringing up his workloads as they say. It's more about management for him in particular. One-day cricket there's probably a question mark there I must say, but certainly Test cricket we want him back flying how he was a couple of years ago and he's not quite there yet, but gradually getting there."

As for Australia's batting, Hohns noted positively that there was now an emerging sense of depth that has not been evident for some time. The likes of Chris Lynn, Travis Head and the indefatigable Michael Klinger are keeping pressure on the players being picked in the Test ODI and T20 teams, something the selectors view as vital to the success of the national side across all formats.

"There's quite a few on the fringes there and the back half of the one day series might give us an opportunity to have a look at a couple of those players," Hohns said. "What we're finding now with your Lynns, Khawajas, Travis Head another one, it's really starting to build our depth back up again, and those are the players we want to have keeping the pressure on the blokes in the side. It's all about depth and we're starting to get there in the batting line-up."

Daniel Brettig is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. @danbrettig

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Matthew Scudamore on January 5, 2016, 13:28 GMT

    Warner Marsh Khawaja Lynn Smith Wade Faulkner/maxwell Boyce Laughlin Richardson Lyon

    Behrandorff Head Watson Steketee

    My 16 for the 16 man World Cup.... The bad thing is finch is captain. So a good in form batsman will miss out. I also picked Watson as he has a lot of sub continent 20/20 experience.

  • John on January 5, 2016, 10:08 GMT

    I really Like that Pakistani guy Khawaja.He has a big future in front of Him

  • Rahul on January 5, 2016, 7:49 GMT

    Khawaja has been the best domestic one day batsman over the last 3 years so I'd say you pick khawaja because he is the future and in prime form. Sean marsh is a brilliant domestic player but he's not gunna be a number three in all formats for the next three years khawaja will. Give him and Lyon a shot

  • rob on January 5, 2016, 1:18 GMT

    @ Sounab: I like your choices of Boyce and Laughlin. I think a leggie is a must in India and Boyce has been bowling well in the BBL. Laughlin seems a maturing bowler with more control over his considerable bag of tricks this season. I've got a feeling he could go well, particularly if there is any sign of the pitch being a bit two paced.

  • Adam on January 4, 2016, 23:55 GMT

    I feel disappointed that Chris Lynn isn't the ODI squad against India after his 3 amazing innings two 70's and 1 century

  • Merv on January 4, 2016, 23:11 GMT

    Why not? It is interesting, however (as Ian Chappell recently said), how few if any top class pace bowlers bother to play T20. There is no point as they are just cannon fodder on the provided flat pitches.

  • Adinic on January 4, 2016, 14:39 GMT

    Why no one talks about Cameron Boyce who's also putting on performances and is a leg spinner to boot, which is always a better options in T20s than an off spinner.

  • Sounab on January 4, 2016, 12:45 GMT

    My Team Will Be .. 1.Warner 2. Finch(C) 3. Smith 4. Maxwell 5. Lynn 6. M.Marsh 7. Wade(WK) 8. Faulkner 9.Agar/O'Keefe/Lyon/Hogg 10. Boyce 11. Laughlin .. I will go for two spinners as there will be less chances with two pace bowlers .. Batting power upto no.8 is needed as ICC announced that WT20 pitches will be batting friendly .. Slow bowling will be benefited ..With two solid bowlers at Death like Laughlin

  • dinesh on January 4, 2016, 12:27 GMT

    the problem with aussies in t20 is their bowlin which fails to contain opposition score.....and with starc unarguably the best limited overs bowler in world right now injured its over for aussies....dont see them winnin it with other bowlers who are more aggressive than to restrict the it goes now its all over for them......arent there any good enough bowlers in big bash? they really need to pick good t20 bowlers than test or odi ones....doesnt matter who hes if hes bowlin well in t20s get him in......

  • Izmi on January 4, 2016, 12:11 GMT

    Due to an oversight I forgot to include Michael Klinger who deserves a go in the T20 Cricket World Cup squad of 16 in my earlier comment which should read as follows. David Warner, Michael Klinger, Aaron Finch, Steve Smith, Shaun Marsh, Glenn Maxwell, George Bailey, Chris Lynn, Travis Head, Tim Paine(wk), Mitchell Marsh, James Faulkner, Nathan Lyon, Hazlewood, Joel Paris/Jason Behrendorrf, Steve O'Keefe/Cameron Boyce. Since Pattinson is injury prone he may not get selected and as a result the pace attack will be rather weak but we may have to rely heavily on our spinners as the wickets will be tailor made for the spinners in the subcontinent. Usman Khawaja may be the unlucky batsman to miss out .

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