What’s the story?
Australian batsman Chris Lynn has expressed his desire to open alongside David Warner during the upcoming edition of the Champions Trophy. The 27-year-old hoped to carry his impressive IPL form for the Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) into the international arena.
“I would never knock back the opportunity to open. You only get a couple of fielders outside the ring for 10 overs. That would be my preferred spot. And it would be the best seat in the house to watch Davey (Warner) bat. He went through the white-ball format to get to Test cricket but also right now he’s one of the most dominant red-ball players in the world,” Lynn told cricket.com.au.
He added, “So I’ve got a long way to go before anything like that happens for me. Firstly, I’ve got to try and dominate the white ball on the international stage rather than just domestic competitions. Obviously, it’s whatever role that ‘Smitty’ (skipper Steven Smith) would give me, I’m comfortable wherever. It’s a privilege to be a part of that line-up. I’ve got no issues coming in at the death (overs) and trying to bang the ball. You go out there with freedom, with a license to whack the ball. That’s something I’m more than comfortable with.”
Lynn has been in splendid form in this IPL season. Due to a shoulder injury, the right-hander has only played four matches for the Knight Riders. However, he still managed to smash 259 runs at a remarkable average of 86.33 and astonishing strike-rate of 186.33 including three fifty-plus scores.
The heart of the matter
As a result of a packed international schedule, Australia have had several opening combinations during their last couple of ODI series against New Zealand (away) and Pakistan (home). Their squad for the Champions Trophy is one of the strongest in the tournament. The batting lineup contains as many as four opening options in Lynn, Warner, Aaron Finch and Travis Head.
In his career thus far, Lynn has played a solitary ODI apart from five T20Is. The hard-hitting batsman is capable of tearing apart even the most dangerous of bowling attacks. However, the recurring issues in his shoulder have prevented him from showcasing his ability for the Australian team.
KKR play their final group game of this season against Mumbai Indians at the Eden Gardens on Saturday night. Having accumulated 16 points already, Gautam Gambhir’s side will be hoping to finish within the top two spots.
Considering his performances in the recent past, Australia will do well to slot Lynn at the top of the order along with Warner. The presence of two explosive batsmen opening together in the Champions Trophy should keep opposition teams on their toes.