Sydney: Australia cricket team coach Darren Lehmann has said that the door is not closed on right-arm off break bowler Nathan Lyon of making a late run for a World Cup spot, despite slow-arm orthodox bowler Xavier Doherty getting the green light for a call-up to the ODI squad to face South Africa.
Selectors gave Lyon a chance to establish himself as their number one white-ball slow bowler in Zimbabwe in August, but the domestic side New South Wales offspinner now appears to have dropped back in the queue.
Lyon is playing in the Sheffield Shield in a bid to find form before the first Test, but the side effect of that is he misses a final chance to take ODI wickets against high quality opposition before preliminary World Cup squads are finalised in December, Stuff.co.nz reported.
Doherty, an experienced ODI cricketer, bowled well in the 50-over series in the UAE last month and would get a prime opportunity to build his case for the World Cup in the final three matches against South Africa in Canberra, Melbourne and Sydney.
He had been one of the four additional players called into Lehmann's squad on Monday.
Joining Doherty are New South Wales' fast bowlers Pat Cummins and Mitchell Starc and all-rounder James Faulkner, who would be a part of the team after his Tasmanian Shield clash ends on Wednesday.
Mitchell Johnson is being rested to get him right for the first Test, and Mitchell Marsh would leave the squad after Wednesday's game in Canberra in order to get Sheffield Shield match practice under his belt before Brisbane.
Doherty would be hard to dislodge as the World Cup spinner if he fires against South Africa, but Lehmann maintains no decisions have been made. The coach said that they just feel that Doherty's really got a good opportunity, adding that the spinner played really well in the UAE for Australia in a couple of games.
Lehmann said that Lyon is playing the Shield cricket which is important for his development as a Test bowler, adding that there's no right or wrong answer there.
Australia's ODI squad: George Bailey (captain), Nathan Coulter-Nile, Pat Cummins, Xavier Doherty, James Faulkner, Aaron Finch, Josh Hazlewood, Mitchell Marsh, Glenn Maxwell, Kane Richardson, Steve Smith, Mitchell Starc, Matthew Wade, David Warner, Shane Watson.