Lyon's in Australia World Cup frame as Smith, Warner return

Nathan Lyon appeals for a wicket during the recent tour of India. Photo by AP
Nathan Lyon appeals for a wicket during the recent tour of India. Photo by AP

Australian cricket selectors have opted for two specialist spinners ahead of this year's World Cup in England.

Young's Nathan Lyon is a part of Australia's World Cup campaign having been named in the 15-man squad, with leg-spinner Adam Zampa also getting the nod from selectors.

The squad also sees the return of recently banned duo Steve Smith and David Warner, with Victorian batsman and back-up wicket-keeper Pete Handscomb and Western Australian Mitch Marsh receiving the axe.

"Pete was desperately unlucky," selector Trevor Hohns said.

"I can't deny that. It's just so happened that Steve Smith and Dave Warner were coming back. Somebody had to miss out.

"We think Steven can play the same role Peter did in the batting line-up. Peter excelled in the role he was given, there's no doubt about that, so he's on stand-by and he'll be involved in the Australia A tour."

Whether Australia chooses to play both spinners, off-spinner Lyon and leg-spinner Zampa, during the World Cup will be up to coach Justin Langer and captain Aaron Finch.

Steve Waugh on his visit to Young recently said he was "glad" he's not a selector, saying they had some difficult decisions to make ahead of the World Cup and Ashes in England later this year.

Steve Waugh on his recent visit to Young spoke to the Young Witness about selection headaches for the upcoming World Cup and Ashes tour.

Steve Waugh on his recent visit to Young spoke to the Young Witness about selection headaches for the upcoming World Cup and Ashes tour.

"We've won eight one-dayers in a row and our last two Tests. [Australian coach] Justin [Langer] knew it would take time to turn things around, the great thing is we have talent there.

"Having Smith, Warner and Bancroft out has given opportunity to other players and we've got a greater pool of talent now to select from. Picking the World Cup squad is going to be very difficult, there's going to be some very unlucky players there, and the Ashes is going to be hard to pick.

"So that was the silver lining that people got the opportunity they otherwise wouldn't get through the players being banned and it puts us in a better state then we were 12 months ago."

The World Cup begins on May 30.