Australia vs New Zealand: Hosts hint at playing unchanged side in third Test at SCG, coach Justin Langer says 'hard to make changes'

Langer was impressed with Mitchell Swepson's work in the nets on Wednesday, suggesting the legspinner remains in the mix to make his debut on Friday, but wouldn't be drawn on Australia's likely starting side.

The Associated Press, Jan 01, 2020 11:28:52 IST

Sydney: Australia coach Justin Langer says it will be hard to make a change for the third cricket Test against New Zealand at the Sydney Cricket Ground despite the home side having clinched the series.

Langer was impressed with Mitchell Swepson's work in the nets on Wednesday, suggesting the legspinner remains in the mix to make his debut on Friday, but wouldn't be drawn on Australia's likely starting side.

"It's going to be hard to make changes. That said, I think it's really important that we wait ... and see over the next two days what the wicket looks like," Langer said.

Australia vs New Zealand: Hosts hint at playing unchanged side in third Test at SCG, coach Justin Langer says hard to make changes

File image of Justin Langer. Reuters

Australia won the first Test by 296 runs in Perth and the second at the Melbourne Cricket Ground by 247, both in four days. Australia will be going for its fifth consecutive Test win after beating Pakistan 2-0 before playing New Zealand.

Expectations of a spin-friendly pitch in Sydney, as usual, prompted selectors to add Swepson to the Test squad as a possible backup to Nathan Lyon.

Should Swepson be overlooked it would mean plenty of overs for Marnus Labuschagne, who is Australia's form batsman.

"We're talking about finding another allrounder in Australian cricket, well it might give us an opportunity to bowl Marnus and Travis Head a few overs," Langer said. "Every time Marnus gets the ball in his hand, it's pretty exciting."

Meanwhile, New Zealand captain Kane Williamson and teammate Henry Nicholls both missed a training session Wednesday due to flu-like systems,

Team officials said the two players were expected to play Friday.

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Updated Date: Jan 01, 2020 11:28:52 IST






Rank Team Points Rating
1 India 5046 120
2 Australia 4320 108
3 New Zealand 3449 105
4 South Africa 3177 102
5 England 4593 102
6 Sri Lanka 3935 92
Rank Team Points Rating
1 England 6745 125
2 India 7748 121
3 New Zealand 4837 112
4 South Africa 5193 110
5 Australia 5854 110
6 Pakistan 5019 98
Rank Team Points Rating
1 Pakistan 8366 270
2 Australia 6986 269
3 England 5568 265
4 South Africa 4720 262
5 India 10645 260
6 New Zealand 6056 252