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Shane Warne turns up the heat on Nathan Lyon as Mitchell Swepson waits in the wings


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“But if he bowls like he did last summer and bowls poorly, then you’ve got to make the change pretty quickly.”

Selectors have tended to err on the side of giving players one game too many rather than too few, particularly when they are stalwarts. In the cases of Aaron Finch and David Warner at the Twenty20 World Cup, their faith was handsomely rewarded. It indicates something would have to go drastically wrong for Lyon to be axed during the Ashes.

Australia’s vaunted attack came under widespread criticism for its failure to bowl the team to victory in Sydney and Brisbane, but a post-mortem of the series found the demise was the result of dropped chances, a view publicly aired by Lyon and selection chair George Bailey.

Even if the wickets dried up for Lyon, he kept the scoring down with an economy rate of 2.65 runs per over against India.

Hohns wants to see the industrious Swepson, first picked in a Test squad in 2017, get a crack at the top level, though his retirement as a selector means other voices will have to take up that fight.

“He has worked and worked on his bowling and his action, grooving his action to get to where he is today, and he deserves anything that comes his way because of his hard work,” Hohns said.

“He had a wonderful season for Queensland last year, and he’s at the stage where in my mind he’s ready for international cricket and a great backup for Nathan Lyon if anything was to happen to Nathan.”

Warne is also an admirer of Sangha and Zampa. “Three good wrist-spinners to take wickets at domestic level to put pressure on Nathan Lyon, it also gives an option to the selectors,” Warne said.

“If they ever wanted to play two spinners, they have got someone there. If they felt Nathan Lyon’s form doesn’t warrant selection and he bowls like he did last year then they’ll be looking to replace him.

“We’ve got three spinners there that could come in and make their debut for a Test match if Lyon’s form continues to slide. Let’s hope it doesn’t.”

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