Qantas Tour of the UAE
Hohns flags twin spin threat at World Cup
Tweakers Adam Zampa and Nathan Lyon have enhanced their chances of featuring together in Australia's World Cup party
18 March 2019, 08:38 AM AEST
The prospect of Australia squeezing Adam Zampa and Nathan Lyon into their World Cup squad grew with almost every passing day on the tour of India.
Frontline spinner Xavier Doherty played a single match during Australia's triumphant 2015 World Cup campaign on home soil, when selectors instead largely relied on Glenn Maxwell's off-spinners.
At the start of the Australian summer it was widely believed that Zampa and Lyon were fighting over a single spot in the 15-man squad that must be submitted to tournament organisers by April 23.
The pair have long insisted they can work well in tandem and that is exactly what occurred in India.
Zampa played the entire five-match series against Virat Kohli's team while Lyon teamed up with him in Delhi, Ranchi and Nagpur.
The leg-spinner and off-spinner will almost certainly link up again in Australia's five-match series against Pakistan, which starts in Sharjah on Friday.
England is not the subcontinent but coach Justin Langer has made it clear both tweakers could make the final cut for the World Cup.
Chairman of selectors Trevor Hohns has offered an even stronger endorsement of Zampa and Lyon's prospects.
"Most teams around the world seem to be including one at least and probably two spinners in their World Cup squad," Hohns said during the tour of India.
"We expect them to. We can't bury our heads in the sand and just say we're going with fast bowlers when spinners in world cricket, and in one-day cricket in particular, are being very, very successful."
India are fully expected to deploy Kuldeep Yadav and at least one other spinner throughout the tournament.
World Cup favourites England will unleash both Adil Rashid and Moeen Ali.
Short boundaries at small English venues will be a bother for all bowlers at the 50-over showpiece but Hohns made the point that "pitches may be a little bit worn in the latter part of the tournament, given they will have some traffic on them".
"That's an important consideration for us too," he said.
Zampa, who excelled throughout the current tour of India and regularly spun the tourists to victory while capturing prized scalps like that of Virat Kohli, MS Dhoni and Rohit Sharma, has seemingly secured his place in the 15-man squad.
Lyon, who was Australia's most economical bowler in the Delhi series decider, also impressed Hohns after being recalled.
"Nathan we know is a world-class bowler ... very experienced," Hohns said.
"Zampa is coming along quite nicely, so we're comfortable at the moment. It's a good combination."
Qantas Tour of the UAE
First ODI: v Pakistan, March 22 in Sharjah
Second ODI: v Pakistan, March 24 in Sharjah
Third ODI: v Pakistan, March 27 in Abu Dhabi
Fourth ODI: v Pakistan, March 29 in Dubai
Fifth ODI: v Pakistan, March 31 in Dubai