Zampa or Lyon? Aussies can’t split spinners
NATHAN Lyon may have got the start over Adam Zampa against England but he is no guarantee of facing the Kiwis tonight, with Aussie skipper Aaron Finch saying the spinning gig is "neck and neck".
Australia are yet to confirm their side for Saturday night's round-robin clash with New Zealand, after Lyon was brought into the team at Zampa's expense against England.
The match marked Lyon's first World Cup game, despite him being Australia's main Test spinner for the best part of the past eight years.
Selected after Sri Lankan finger spinner Dhananjaya de Silva troubled England the previous game, Lyon was economical with his nine overs going for just 43.
Leg-spinner Zampa, meanwhile, has taken two wickets in his past three games, but has gone at 7.15 an over in the tournament.
"They're both neck and neck," Finch said.
"The way Nathan bowled the other day is probably more of a defensive option. A bit more control, which is fine.
"But leg spin is an incredibly hard craft. For Zamps, the numbers against Zamps, England, Nathan had a distinctive advantage.
"That's just the way we're looking at it. There's nothing more or nothing less to it."
Realistically the selection battle between the pair could come down to who they best match up against in their finals.
Regular quicks Pat Cummins and Mitchell Starc are both expected to face the Black Caps at Lord's on Saturday, with the Aussies resisting the urge to rest either of the pair.
There is also some possibility both spinners could play, with Finch warning the team's match-up selection policy meant Jason Behrendorff wasn't even guaranteed of his spot after taking 5-44 against England.
"We've been really open and clear with that with the players from the start; the expectation of everyone being as flexible as they possibly can be," Finch said.
"That comes from the batting order to selection. There's times when you still have to go with a gut feel on a particular play or on a certain surface.
"Flexibility is the key, and everyone's been on board with that. There's been no whinging or anything like that when someone's been left out for a specific reason.
"I think that's a sign of a really solid group; that you can - you understand that 11, or 15 doesn't go into 11."