Swepson spins into Test frame
NATHAN Lyon believes Mitchell Swepson is making a strong case to potentially emerge alongside him in the Test team.
Chairman of Selectors Trevor Hohns admitted last week that the country's spin bowling depth beneath clear No.1 Lyon was a concern ahead of the Sydney Test and just six months out from next year's tour of Bangladesh.
Hohns revealed several spinners would be put on notice that they were on the radar for a Test call-up against New Zealand at the SCG, but declined to name names.
Lyon nominated Swepson, NSW teammate Steve O'Keefe, Victorian Jon Holland and West Australian Ashton Agar as the most likely candidates, and also spoke highly of Marnus Labuschagne's ability to hold his own as a second spinner.
But the spin king's pump up of Swepson is significant.
Swepson is a leg spinner who has produced impressive Sheffield Shield numbers this season despite the fact the Queenslander is done no favours by his home ground- the seam-friendly Gabba.
The 26-year-old was taken to Bangladesh in 2017 - only for selectors to fly in veteran O'Keefe to play ahead of him - and in the two years since, Swepson has fallen back down the pecking order.
However, Lyon believes Swepson could be on the verge of a Test debut.
"I think there's a few going around. The likes of Mitch Swepson, I think he's really put his hand up and is performing really well in Shield cricket," Lyon said.
"I really enjoy bowling with Steve O'Keefe, then you've got Jon Holland and Ashton Agar.
"There's enough guys floating around, but also in my eyes Marnus plays a massive role as well. He's been exceptional and his cricket over the past 12 months has gone to a new level. He loves the game. He wants to get better. I'm a big fan of Marnus."
Chairman Hohns, a leggie himsel, needs no reminding of Swepson's ability. They are both attached to the same Brisbane club - Sandgate-Redcliffe - and he has seen the right-armer since he was an early teenager.
Lyon said he had been helping Labuschagne with his part-time leg-spin and believed he was continuing to improve.
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