Spin cover for Lyon a 'real issue' for Australia, says Warne

Nathan Lyon (Getty)
Nathan Lyon (Getty)

Cape Town - Shane Warne believes Australia will have a "real issue" if spinner Nathan Lyon were forced to miss any Test matches in the near future.

The Aussies have been fortunate in that Lyon has not missed a Test with an injury in a 91-game career that has seen the off-spinner take 363 wickets.

Lyon was the only frontline slow-bowler selected in Australia's squad for the Ashes in England with batsman Marnus Labuschagne providing captain Tim Paine with a part-time option.

Jon Holland seems to be player next in line as he was in the Australia 'A' side but the left-arm orthodox tweaker is struggling to get a game for his state team Victoria at the start of the domestic season.

Ashton Agar, who has already played four Tests, could be also be an option while leg-spinner Mitchell Swepson showed good signs last season but is yet to play for Queensland in four-day cricket this campaign.

Warne said at Fox Cricket's season launch: "Luckily we have such a quality spinner in Lyon, he's done so well in all conditions around the world, held that attack together, but if something happened to him it would be a real issue.

"It's important for Australia - I'm not saying Lyon is retiring or anything, he's got a lot more in him - that if something does happen for Australia that someone could set up."

Warne also implored domestic teams to always select a frontline slow-bowler in first-class matches regardless of the conditions.

"They should always pick a spinner, it's disappointing if sides are not picking spinners regardless of conditions we should be encouraging spinners in all forms because they'll learn how to bowl in different conditions," Warne added.

"The job of Sheffield Shield sides is to make sure you are producing international cricketers, it's not just looking after your own state.

"You have to make sure Australian cricket is strong and they should be picking spinners."

- TeamTalk Media

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