Nathan Lyon admitted Jhye Richardson’s injury was hard to take.
Nathan Lyon admitted Jhye Richardson’s injury was hard to take.

Silver lining in ‘devastating’ Cup blow

AUSTRALIA'S latest fast bowling star Jhye Richardson being ruled out of the Cricket World Cup could be a blessing in disguise, as it gives the side another reason to defend its title.

Last week it was decided Richardson was not going to recover from a shoulder injury in time for Australia's opening game of the World Cup against Afghanistan on June 1, he got the chop and was replaced with 28-year-old Western Australian quick Kane Richardson.

He had burst onto the scene earlier this year with stunning performances in Tests against Sri Lanka when he came into the squad for an injured Josh Hazelwood.

Jhye Richardson is hoping to be available for the Ashes but his teammates Glenn Maxwell and Nathan Lyon have admitted it was a tough pill to swallow to see the young gun miss out.

"It's absolutely devastating, not just for him but for all the guys who have seen all the hard work he's put in over the past few years," Maxwell told news.com.au.

"He's a super talent, he's made his Test debut over the summer and done really well.

"As soon he did his injury, we all felt sick, just knowing it was going to put his preparation in trouble.

"There was always a chance he could have not got back for the World Cup. It was hard to see him, he was obviously pretty flat and disappointed but hopefully he can get back and play in The Ashes."

Richardson will always have the photo session.
Richardson will always have the photo session.

For Lyon, it hurt more with the close bonds of the Australian bowling unit.

"You never want to see anyone get injured but especially one of your mates," he said.

"Jhye's been an absolute superstar to be able to come into the international cricket team so for him to be ruled out of the World Cup is devastating.

"It's a big hole that is being left now that Jhye has been ruled out but the good thing about Australian cricket at the moment is the depth in the Australian bowling, especially the fast bowling. It's a big loss but I've got all the confidence in the world for Kane to come in and do a similar role to what Jhye can do."

Australia's World Cup squad has plenty of options in the bowling ranks with Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc, Nathan Coulter-Nile and Jason Behrendorff along with all-rounder Marcus Stoinis bowling pace, while Lyon, Maxwell and Adam Zampa are the spin options.

With Australia having won eight straight ODIs leading into the World Cup, the side is riding high and Lyon is confident of success.

"The confidence around the side is growing every day," Lyon said.

"I think you can see the confidence growing from the training effort that we're putting in. Everyone wants to see everyone go really well and perform. There's a lot of care around the group which is absolutely exciting and brilliant to have.

Nathan Lyon thinks spin will be key to the World Cup.
Nathan Lyon thinks spin will be key to the World Cup.

"The confidence is growing but we know as Australian cricketers that we need to be doing everything we can to be performing at the best of our ability. It's pretty exciting to be part of that."

Lyon said it was a "dream come true" to be selected for the World Cup squad, which will be part of a long stint for the Australian side.

The squad will have the World Cup followed by the Ashes, which will take up the best part of four months with the first World Cup warm up match on May 25, until the final Ashes Test, of which day five is September 17.

While it may seem like a challenge to be away for so long, Lyon is optimistic of a positive experience in the heart of the old enemy.

"To be honest with you, this is probably the best time to be an Australian cricketer," he said.

"Playing in a World Cup and then straight into an Ashes all in the UK, I don't think you can get much better than that."

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