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Justin Langer hints at playing two spinners Nathan Lyon and Adam Zampa in the World Cup

Langer did not rule out the proposition of Australia playing two spinners in the coming days.

Justin Langer
Justin Langer. (Photo by Mark Evans/Getty Images)

Australia suffered an embarrassing run across the three formats of the game at home against team India. They lost the Test and the ODI series against the Virat Kohli-led side. Despite the defeats, their coach Justin Langer is staying optimistic about the team’s chances for the upcoming ICC major, the World Cup 2019. Langer very well knows that things would change once the big names make a comeback to the side.

That would certainly ease out the batting woes. Another aspect of the game that the coach is keen on working is the spin department. He remarked that it is very important to take wickets in the middle overs, and the spinners need to up their game for the same. During the ODI series against India, both Nathan Lyon and Adam Zampa fared decently, but none could be the wicket-taking option that the team craved for.

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“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. We lost wickets in the middle overs and then you get down to the end and you haven’t got your main batsmen in,” Justin Langer quoted as per the reports in The Age.

On Nathan Lyon

Justin Langer hailed Nathan Lyon as one of the finest in the world. Commenting on his axing from the Melbourne ODI, Langer justified that it was the lack of wicket-taking form in white-ball cricket that saw him sit out of the game.

On a positive note, he hopes to see Lyon do better and improve in the days to come. Australia are set to play limited overs fixtures in India and the UAE before the World Cup, and Langer feels Lyon will have his litmus test done in those two outings. Also, Langer did not rule out the proposition of Australia playing two spinners in the coming days.

“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,” the Australian coach mentioned.

“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,” he added further.

On Zampa’s role

Commenting on the younger spin option, Adam Zampa, Justin Langer pointed out that the leg-spinners are known to have a great impact in the limited overs cricket. For Zampa to become a very valuable asset, he needs to work on turning the ball both ways, opined Langer. He added that the young leggie did show some signs of the same during the recently concluded game, and remains a plus for the team management.

“If he can spin the ball both ways, he becomes a fantastic option for us, as we are seeing all around 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,” Langer conceded.

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