Lyon confident ahead of One Day Challenge

Ahead of his first call-up to the Aussie One Day squad in two years, Nathan Lyon has said he has the self-belief to bowl well no matter what the format.

Speaking after receiving the call-up as one of six NSW Blues in the 14-man squad to tour Zimbabwe, Lyon also spoke of his opportunity to put in a good showing in the first audition ahead of next year’s One Day World Cup.

“I’m confident in my own skills to get the job done no matter what the circumstances are; for Australia and NSW,” he said.

“(I’m) looking forward to the opportunity and (I’m) going to take this chance with both hands and move forward and hopefully put my hand up for World Cup selection later on down the track.”

Lyon has enjoyed a meteoric rise in Australian cricketing circles since he was named to make his Test debut in Galle, Sri Lanka in 2011, going from strength to strength while consistently defying the critics who question his position as Australia’s no. 1 Test spin bowler.

In a massive 12 months for Lyon, he can now add this recall to an Ashes Series victory, away tour win in South Africa, Sheffield Shield title and also the honour of taking his 100th Test wicket.

The tour of Zimbabwe sees the Australian side kick-off what will be a huge calendar year of cricket with a Tri-series against the hosts and neighbours South Africa. Having previously toured the country as a part of an Australia ‘A’ setup, Lyon is looking forward to playing on what he describes as “exciting” pitches.

“They had a little bit of spin, a little bit of bounce, so it is pretty exciting really. They are pretty similar to South Africa, but they are probably a tad slower, but it’s going to be great cricket over there, especially with South Africa and Zimbabwe.

“It’s a great place to play; it’s a great place to tour as well. I really enjoyed it, so really looking forward to heading back over there.”

Lyon’s first of his two current ODI appearances came in Adelaide, during the 2011/12 summer, and after impressing domestically for the NSW Blues in his first season after moving over from the Redbacks, he feels that his improving One Day game is worthy of the challenges of International Cricket.

“I definitely feel like I’ve got better and better and that is my main goal.             

“I have felt like I’ve been more consistent with my bowling, and there’s a couple of new different variations that I’ve been working on which I’m quite happy with leading into this series.”

The variations he mentions are those which have already been heavily rumoured in cricket circles this winter, after time spent bowling in Sri Lanka under the tutelage of off spin legend, and world record Wicket taker, Muttiah Muralitharan.

It is these variations, alongside his already proven accuracy and turn which Lyon hopes could place him firmly in contention for a spot in the Australian ODI side for next year’s World Cup once it’s announced. For now, however, while others undertake their domestic pre-season duties, the tour will provide him with the perfect platform to raise his hand as Australian cricket’s frontline spinner in another format.

“I’m lucky enough to have this first opportunity to put my hand up for selection for the World Cup in February. I’m going to have to take this opportunity with both hands and really put some good performances in for Australia, and hopefully win all the games that we play in.”