Langer hints at unchanged Australia for third Test

Justin Langer suggested Australia was likely to be unchanged against New Zealand in the third Test.

Leg-spinner Mitchell Swepson   -  Getty Images

Australia may go into the third Test against New Zealand unchanged as coach Justin Langer said it would be hard to make alterations.

Mitchell Swepson was added to the Australia squad for the Test beginning on Friday at the SCG, where the pitch is expected to spin.

However, having dominated on its way to a 2-0 lead in the three-Test series, Langer said it would be difficult for Australia to make changes.

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"It's going to be hard to make changes," he told a news conference on Wednesday.

"That said, I think it's really important that we wait because we've seen it in the [Sheffield] Shield games, the groundsman's telling us he's expecting it to spin so we have to show that some respect as well, but the boys are playing so well.

"We've talked about keeping the same group together as much as possible. The fact that James Pattinson came in and bowled so well in the last Test match as a replacement for Josh Hazlewood, that's really heartening for our depth obviously.

"We've still got Michael Neser, we've got Mitch Swepson here, he's bowling very well, his improvement warrants for him to be here.

"We'll wait and see the next two days what the wicket looks like."

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Hazlewood missed the second Test in Melbourne due to a hamstring injury and the paceman has been ruled out of the final match in the series.

Langer said Australia may try to get more overs from Marnus Labuschagne, who has taken 12 Test wickets at 36.33 with his leg-spin.

"It might give us an opportunity to bowl Marnus, bowl Travis Head a few overs, to find those extra overs we're looking for," he said.

"Every time Marnus gets the ball in his hand, it's pretty exciting. He's working hard on getting his lines right so he makes them play a bit more, but he's an exciting prospect.

"I think the way he spins the ball, the more he can bowl in games, that's important, whether it's white-ball cricket, or Sheffield Shield cricket, or Test cricket. Like we've seen his development as a batsman, the more he can bowl the more he'll improve I think."

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