Australia missed Lyon in World T20: Haddin


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Former wicketkeeper Brad Haddin says Australia missed the experience and skills of senior spinner Nathan Lyon during their unsuccessful World T20 campaign in India.

Lyon was kept out in favour of young spinners Adam Zampa and Ashton Agar, while allrounder Glenn Maxwell also chipped in with his part-timers.

Rookie leg-spinner Zampa was a revelation for the Aussies, claiming five wickets in four matches in the tournament.

But Australia's other spin options were used sparingly throughout the tournament; Agar bowled just one over in his only match against New Zealand, which went for 18, while Maxwell sent down eight overs in four matches, taking two wickets and conceding 7.6 runs an over.

Australia suffered defeats to New Zealand and hosts India to be knocked out in the group stage and on wickets the supported spin bowling, Haddin says Lyon was sorely missed.

"I think Nathan Lyon is the best spinner in Australia by a long way and I think come the back end of that tournament he would have made a big difference for Australia," Haddin said.

"He started his career playing Twenty20 cricket for South Australia, he did an exceptional job this year for the Sydney Sixers so yes I do think Nathan Lyon should have been there."

The World T20 re-affirmed the effectiveness of spin bowling in the shortest format of the game, especially in the subcontinent.

Five of the six leading wicket-takers for the tournament were spinners - Afghanistan duo Mohammad Nabi and Rashid Khan, NZ pair Mitchell

Santner and Ish Sodhi and Bangladesh's Shakib Al Hasan all claimed 10 or more wickets - while star leg-spinners Samuel Badree and Imran Tahir finished with tournament economy rates of less than 5.5 an over.

Earlier during the build-up to World T20, former South African batsman Jhonty Rhodes had also hit out at the Aussies for omitting their senior spinner Lyon.