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Jonty hits out at Australia for omitting Nathan Lyon

Last updated on: March 05, 2016 19:47 IST

nathan lyon

IMAGE: Australian spinner Nathan Lyon. Photograph: Getty Images.

South African cricket legend Jonty Rhodes criticised Australia for omitting their premier spinner Nathan Lyon for the World T20.

The Aussies selected young spinners Adam Zampa and Ashton Agar, keeping out Lyon in pursuit of their maiden T20 title.

'Without being too critical (Australia) probably lack a stand-out spinner for this format,' Rhodes told Crocmedia.

'They may struggle on the subcontinent as a result of that and I'm very surprised Nathan Lyon isn't strongly in the mix.'

'Zampa and (Glenn) Maxwell are a solid combination, but I'm not sure they will ask enough questions of the top Indian batsman for example.'

After their defeat against South Africa in the opening T20 game of the three match series on Friday, Rhodes has identified a weakness in Australia's T20 squad that he says will hurt them in the World T20.

Rhodes believes the Australians have struggled to get the bowling balance right on the back of several key injuries.

'They've been quite unlucky with Mitchell Starc going out of that side at such an important time,' Rhodes said, who also lamented the absence of Pat Cummins (back) and James Pattinson (shins).

'James Faulkner is also a very good death bowler and it's those later overs where the pressure came off South Africa a bit.'

Faulkner is expected to feature in the next two matches, along with allrounder Shane Watson and pace bowler Josh Hazlewood who were all rested in Durban.

The defeat in the first T20I against the Proteas was Australia's fifth consecutive loss in the format, stretching back to November 2014.

It is the fourth time Australia have lost five T20 internationals in a row, but the side has never lost six consecutive matches, an unwanted slice of history they will be desperate to avoid in Sunday night's rematch in Johannesburg.