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Hard to Make Changes for Sydney Test Despite Nature of Pitch: Justin Langer

Hard to Make Changes for Sydney Test Despite Nature of Pitch: Justin Langer

Australia coach Justin Langer said the team will wait and watch the pitch conditions in the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG) before deciding on their starting XI.

Australia coach Justin Langer said the team will wait and watch the pitch conditions in the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG) before deciding on their starting XI, adding that it will be hard to make changes despite the groundsman saying the strip will offer turn.

"It will be hard to make changes. That said, I think it’s really important that we wait because we’ve seen it in the Shield games and the groundsman is telling us he's expecting it to spin, so we have to respect that," Langer said in Sydney on Wednesday.

"But the boys are playing so well, we've talked about keeping the same group together as much as possible. James Pattinson came in and bowled so well in the last Test and that's really heartening for our depth.

"We've got Michael Neser, Mitch Swepson who is bowling very well and his improvement warrants him to be here. We'll wait and see over the next two days what the wicket looks like."

Should the need for another spin option arise, Langer said the team could very well turn to Marnus Labuschagne to bowl a few extra overs of leg-spin. The 25-year old has already taken two wickets in this series.

"It's certainly an option. That's how we have to look at it – 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, to find those extra overs we're looking for.

"Every time Marnus gets the ball in his hand, it's pretty exciting. He's working hard on getting his lines right, so he makes them play a bit more, but he's an exciting prospect – the way he spins the ball – the more he can bowl in games, that's important.

"Whether it's in white-ball cricket, Sheffield Shield or Test cricket, the more he can bowl the more he can improve."

Josh Hazlewood, who was ruled out of the Boxing Day Test with a hamstring strain, has returned to training but will not come back into the side immediately and is likelier to return during the ODI series.

"If he (Hazlewood) had his way he probably would (play in Sydney), but we’ll probably play him in a couple of Big Bash games to make sure he’s right for the one-dayers.

"It always puts a smile on your facing seeing him up and running, he looks in good shape, so hopefully he’ll be right for the one-dayers."



Team Rankings

RankTeamPointsRating
1 Australia 3028 116
2 New Zealand 2406 115
3 India 3085 114
4 England 4326 106
5 Sri Lanka 2454 91
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RankTeamPointsRating
1 England 5405 123
2 India 6102 117
3 New Zealand 3716 116
4 Australia 4344 111
5 South Africa 3345 108
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1 England 6877 275
2 Australia 6800 272
3 India 10186 268
4 Pakistan 7516 259
5 South Africa 5047 252
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