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Langer says unchanged Australian team likely for 3rd test

SYDNEY (AP) — Australia coach Justin Langer says it will be hard to make a change for the third cricket test against New Zealand at the Sydney Cricket Ground despite the home side having clinched the series.

Langer was impressed with Mitchell Swepson's work in the nets on Wednesday, suggesting the legspinner remains in the mix to make his debut on Friday, but wouldn't be drawn on Australia's likely starting side.

"It's going to be hard to make changes. That said, I think it's really important that we wait ... and see over the next two days what the wicket looks like," Langer said.

Australia won the first test by 296 runs in Perth and the second at the Melbourne Cricket Ground by 247, both in four days. Australia will be going for its fifth consecutive test win after beating Pakistan 2-0 before playing New Zealand.

Expectations of a spin-friendly pitch in Sydney, as usual, prompted selectors to add Swepson to the test squad as a possible backup to Nathan Lyon.

Should Swepson be overlooked it would mean plenty of overs for Marnus Labuschagne, who is Australia's form batsman.

"We're talking about finding another allrounder in Australian cricket, well it might give us an opportunity to bowl Marnus and Travis Head a few overs," Langer said. "Every time Marnus gets the ball in his hand, it's pretty exciting."

Meanwhile, New Zealand captain Kane Williamson and teammate Henry Nicholls both missed a training session Wednesday due to flu-like systems,

Team officials said the two players were expected to play Friday.

More AP sports: https://apnews.com/apf-sports and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

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