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JL: I'd Pick 13 Scorchers For Australia!

30 January 2017

Justin Langer and the Scorchers BBL final squad // Getty Images

The Scorchers coach has backed his own "salesman" skills to twist Mitchell Johnson's arm for an international return.

Justin Langer has joked he’d pick 13 Perth Scorchers players in his Australia T20 International side if possible and wants to include veteran Mitchell Johnson.

Langer will coach the Australia T20 side next month in a three-game series against Sri Lanka, with Darren Lehmann away overseas with the Test squad ahead of the tour of India.

Having just overseen Perth’s BBL|06 triumph, Langer is well placed to craft the best side possible.

The Australian selectors and Langer will meet on Tuesday to discuss the squad which will be announced in Adelaide on Wednesday.

“Thirteen I hope,” Langer joked when asked how many Scorchers should be in the squad.

“Take the two internationals out and the guys going to India, there must be six or seven knocking on the door for it.

“When you’re selecting teams you want guys who know how to win.

“Someone like Sam Whiteman, he’s only young but has won three BBL finals now. He knows how to win, he’s a good cricketer.

“The Australian team will be looking for a wicketkeeper.

“Ashton Turner has had a pretty good series, there’s some guys who are definitely knocking on the door.”

Among those players in contention is Johnson, who dominated the latter stages of BBL|06 to finish with 13 wickets in nine matches at an average of 15.46.

Johnson retired from international cricket in November 2015 and has been cool on the idea of a return.

Langer, however, remarked “he’s a good salesman” and hoped to twist his arm.

“If he’s ever going to decide to have a crack at it, it’d be now,” Langer said.

“He’s playing really good cricket, he’s having fun.

“Hopefully with myself, Ricky (Ponting) and Jason Gillespie, bit of freshness there for him and it’s only for a week.

“You never know, we’ll see.”

Another veteran, 36-year-old Michael Klinger, is firmly in contention after 334 runs at an average of 37.11.

Klinger has never represented Australia despite his outstanding consistency at domestic level, particularly in the BBL where he is the leading scorer in competition history.

“No one deserves to play for Australia more than Michael Klinger,” Langer said.

“I know it’d be a dream come true for him. It depends what the parameters are for the Australian selectors.

“Whether they want to go for some younger guys or pic someone like Michael Klinger who deserves an opportunity.

“He’s been a standout for all of BBL history. I’d love to see him get a crack.”

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