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Taking stock of Australia’s ODI spin options

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Roar Guru
12th November, 2019

With Australia’s next ODI series being played in India – the location for the next Cricket World Cup – in January, it’s worth having a look at some of the tweakers who may feature in the 2023 tournament.

Nathan Lyon
ODI record: 29 wickets at 46, economy of 4.92
List A Record: 84 wickets at 37.84, economy of 4.87

Lyon finished the last World Cup as Australia’s first-choice spinner. During his ODI career hasn’t been a particularly effective wicket-taker, however he has gone at less than five runs an over.

Lyon will be 35 in ’23, so he’s certainly a chance of featuring and his good record in India will count in his favour.

However, the selectors may opt to keep him out of the side so as to focus on Test cricket, as they’ve done in the past.

Adam Zampa
ODI record: 65 wickets at 36.35, economy of 5.71
List A record: 124 wickets at 34.12, economy of 5.45

Zampa has performed well in Australia’s T20 team, unfortunately his poor form over the past few years in ODIs has seen him dropped multiple times from the team.

Ashton Agar
ODI record: 8 wickets at 51.75, economy of 5.75
List A record: 59 wickets at 34.66, economy of 5.2

Like Lyon, Agar hasn’t been a particularly effective wicket-taker, but he hasn’t been as economical either. In the past he’s been in the team because of what he can do with the bat.

Ashton Agar walks back to his bowling mark with a pink ball

Ashton Agar, in more hirsute times. (AFP, Saeed Khan)

Chris Green
List A record: 8 wickets at 28.75, economy of 4.91

Green lost his contract with New South Wales at the end of the 2016-17 domestic season, and since has had played for the Thunder in the Big Bash, as well as in the Pakistani Super League, the Caribbean Premier League and the English Blast.

Last year, his good form in the CPL saw him picked in the NSW one-day squad ahead of Steve O’Keefe.

Mitch Swepson
List A record: 27 wickets at 54.03, economy of 5.94

Swepson played a single T20 for Australia in England last year, and was a member of the Australia A 50-over team that went to India last year. His high average has cost him, as he lost his position in Queensland’s team at the start of the summer.

Matt Kuhnemann
List A record: 17 wickets at 30.88, economy of 6.15

Kuhnemann took over as Queensland’s one day spinner at the start of the summer, displacing Swepson. He’s still finding his feet.


Cam Boyce
List A record: 55 wickets at 35.61, economy of 5.48

Like Green, Boyce no longer holds a domestic contract but was key in the Renegades’ BBL title win last season. Outside of this, Boyce’s only other cricket has been playing at club level in Brisbane. Still, he’s a proven performer at international level.

Jon Holland
List A record: 68 wickets at 33.45, economy of 4.99

Holland could consider himself unlucky not to have played ODIs for Australia given his good economy rate, but his poor record at Test level probably counts against him.

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Arjun Nair
List A record: 20 wickets at 31.9, economy of 5.45

After dealing with issues with his bowling action, as well as injuries, Nair has started the season in good one-day form for NSW.