Sport Cricket Why T20 brute Chris Lynn can play Test cricket for Australia

Why T20 brute Chris Lynn can play Test cricket for Australia

Chris Lynn
Chris Lynn has proven himself at T20 level and now gets a national ODI spot. Photo: Getty
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Thanks to the rise and rise of the Big Bash League (BBL), pretty much every cricket fan in Australia is now well aware of Chris Lynn.

You probably know him as the Brisbane Heat’s marquee man, one of the country’s most electric big-hitters and a T20 superstar in an age where T20 superstars can profit like crazy.

Lynn only seems to pop up for a month or so every summer, you might think, when the BBL circus rolls into town and his power becomes an invaluable commodity.

In other words, a Twenty20 specialist. There are worse things to be in this day and age, but Lynn has greater aspirations.

“[A Baggy Green] is the goal,” he said, after being named in his first Australian ODI squad.

“I haven’t played a one-dayer yet, so I can’t think too far ahead. I want to try and feel comfortable in that environment and just go from there.”

Quite right, too. Test cricket should be the goal for a player who, if not for a positively dastardly run with injury, may well have forced his way into the XI already.

Because for a supposed T20 slogger, Lynn makes a pretty darn good long-form batsman.

Nobody who saw his patient, first Sheffield Shield ton — in just his second match, and at the age of 19 — would suggest he was anything other than the real deal.

Nobody who saw him drag Queensland from the mire against Victoria in 2015, with an incredible 250 off 329 balls, would question his ability to bat for long periods of time.

Chris Lynn
Lynn has impressed in the Sheffield Shield. Photo: Getty

Nobody would look at his first class record, one that boasts six Shield centuries and an average of 44.39, and still think his only place in the game is in coloured clothes.

Australian coach Darren Lehmann knows what Lynn is capable of, having once been at the helm of Queensland when Lynn was fit and flying.

“I’d hope he’d want to play all formats for Australia like every other player that’s playing domestic cricket,” Lehmann said.

“For him his challenge is to play really well in this series and start to play well in Shield again and away he goes.”

The only thing holding Lynn back is his own body. He’s been typecast as a big basher, but he can be so much more.

Lynn’s road to higher honours begins in this ODI series against Pakistan. If he can make a 50-over squad off the back of his 20-over form, there’s no reason he shouldn’t be staking a claim for a Test spot right here, right now.

The tour of India will surely come too soon, but if he can actually take the field with some sort of consistency in 2017, and Australia’s middle order remains unsettled, an Ashes debut on his home Gabba ground ought to be the target.

Lynn’s Sheffield Shield stats:

40 matches
2708 runs
Six centuries, 12 half-centuries
Average: 44.39
Strike rate: 55.73
High score: 250