Why Australia should pick Chris Lynn for the World T20
"Form is temporary, class is permanent" is a cliche that is doled out far too often by cricket commentators. But a batsman in form ahead of a major tournament is simply priceless. While Chris Lynn's omission from the Australian ODI squad for the series against India is surprising, the selectors would be foolish not pick him for the World T20 in India.
The 25-year-old has been clobbering bowlers left, right and centre in the ongoing Big Bash League for Brisbane Heat. While his side might be struggling for wins and might end at the bottom of the table once again, there is little doubt that Lynn is going to finish near the top of the run-scoring charts.
After six matches, Lynn is the leading run-scorer in the tournament, averages 64.2 and has a strike rate of 169.8. Those figures alone should be enough to get him picked for not just the upcoming T20 leg of the series against India, but also the World T20 that follows in March.
Case for Chris
It is not just his phenomenal numbers in the Big Bash this year that warrant his selection for the Australian T20 side. It is because of his overall record in the format as well, where his numbers after 60 matches are up there, with some of the best in the business.
Anyone who averages above 30 and has a strike rate in excess of 140 in T20s would be a certainty in most national sides, but such is the wealth of talent at Australia's disposal that Lynn has played just two matches for his country.
While the likes of Glenn Maxwell, Steven Smith and James Faulkner are certain starters when they are fit, there is still a very good case to be made for a hard-hitting 25-year-old to make the final cut.
Given the unpredictable nature of Maxwell, Australia need a solid No.4, to come in after the two openers and Smith, to build a solid platform for the likes of Maxwell, Faulkner and co. to wreak havoc later in the innings. And there is no reason why Lynn can't be that player, seeing as he also has the capability to destroy a bowling attack on his own.
But it is not just in the shortest format of the game that Lynn has shown himself to be adept at. In fact, his first-class figures are even better and it was evident right from the start, when he scored a century in only his second Sheffield Shield game for Queensland against Western Australia, at the age of 19.
Looking at Australia's side for the longest format of the game, one thing is pretty clear. The side is built for the present and not the future, as evident from the debut given to Adam Voges at the age of 35.
With an impressive average of almost 46 from 35 matches, it is difficult to see why the 25-year-old isn't in contention for a spot in the side. It is even more puzzling, in the shortest format of the game, where, despite his status as a specialist in the format, Lynn has just played twice for country, both against England in 2014.
Wealth of experience
One of the possible reasons for Lynn's surprising absence from Australia's T20 squads is his bowling, or lack of it. But given the country seems to produce a never-ending array of talented all-rounders and even fast bowlers who can give the ball some tonking, that can hardly be the reason for his exclusion.
If numbers from the current season alone aren't enough to warrant his inclusion, then his experience of playing in different conditions, especially those similar to the ones they are likely to encounter in India, should prove to be invaluable.
Aside from representing and captaining Heat in the BBL, the 25-year-old has also played in T20 leagues in India and West Indies. In 2014, Lynn turned out for Kolkata Knight Riders in the IPL.
Although he only played twice and was subsequently injured for the 2015 season, he is still talked about thanks to the spectacular catch he took to dismiss Royal Challengers Bangalore's AB de Villiers and claim victory for his side.
He turned up for the Jamaica Tallawahs in the 2015 Caribbean Premier League. Although his numbers aren't as impressive as those in the Big Bash, it is his experience of playing in conditions that favour spin that makes him an asset Australia shouldn't miss out on.
Now that Chris Lynn has shown that he has successfully recovered from his dislocated shoulder that ruled him out of the Matador Cup earlier in the season, there is no reason why Australia should miss out on delivering a dose of Lynn-sanity to their opponents.