Mark Taylor has been left baffled by Nathan Lyon’s axing from the Australian ODI squad, questioning how selectors could leave out the best spinner in the country.
Lyon, Glenn Maxwell, Usman Khawaja and Marcus Stoinis were all high-profile axings from the 14-man squad, with Marnus Labuschagne named on Tuesday for a potential ODI debut.
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In Lyon’s place are Adam Zampa and Ashton Agar - a decision that’s confused former national captain Taylor.
"I think he's a bit unlucky, I really do," Taylor said in an interview with Wide World of Sports.
"It seems to be that they want a spinner to take the ball away from the right-handed batsman, with Zampa and Agar being preferred.
"I think Nathan's definitely been a little unlucky there because he's certainly, by far, the best spinner we've got in the country. And it's a shame because he's an off spinner, he's almost ruled out."
Khawaja also hard done by
Khawaja faces a fight to resurrect his international career after being among the big casualties for Australia's three-match ODI tour of India in January.
His stocks have drastically dropped over the past six months and time isn't on his side given he turns 33 on Wednesday.
The veteran batsman was dropped from the Test side midway through the Ashes after averaging just 17.25 from four knocks.
And his ODI omission means he is now well and truly on the outer.
Shaun Marsh is also missing from the squad that toured England earlier this year, while Nathan Coulter-Nile has been dropped and Jason Behrendorff is injured.
In their places are Sean Abbott, who hasn't played an ODI since 2014, Josh Hazlewood, Agar, Ashton Turner and Labuschagne.
Notably, all of Australia's front-line quicks will feature in the series after Mitchell Starc, Pat Cummins and Hazlewood were named.
Maxwell took time away from cricket recently to focus on his mental health, but will make his return via the BBL.
Australia coach Justin Langer is backing Maxwell to get back to his best after some indifferent form over the past year.
"We love having him in the team, we love his energy, we love his talent, we love what he can bring," Langer said.
"But the truth is he hasn't performed very well over the past 12 months or so for the Australian cricket team.
"We had to take that into account and he hadn't played much competitive cricket either.
"He had a brilliant series in the UAE against Pakistan, but the World Cup and some series before that hasn't been his best. We're sure he'll get back to his best and we're looking forward to that."
Australia's ODI squad: Aaron Finch (c), Sean Abbott, Ashton Agar, Alex Carey, Pat Cummins, Peter Handscomb, Josh Hazlewood, Marnus Labuschagne, Kane Richardson, Steven Smith, Mitchell Starc, Ashton Turner, David Warner, Adam Zampa.