Nathan Lyon confident of sealing Australia ODI spot
Australia’s premier Test spinner Nathan Lyon is confident that he can seize the rare ODI opportunity handed to him for the tri-series involving South Africa and West Indies in the Carribean to seal a spot in the limited-overs side as well, cricket.com.au reports.
Despite being Australia’s leading off-spinner in Test cricket history with 195 scalps so far in 54 Tests, Lyon has failed to be in the reckoning in the ODI and T20 squads, having played only 10 ODIs despite making his debut over four years ago. The presence of Glenn Maxwell as a batting all-rounder capable of bowling off spin and a reluctance on the part of the Australian national selectors to pick him in the limited overs side has been touted as possible reasons.
In fact, chief selector Rodney Marsh had publically claimed during Australia’s tour of England in 2015 that Lyon was not being considered as they were worried that poor performances in ODIs might dent his confidence and affect his performance in the longer format – something Lyon doesn’t agree with.
"It's definitely not going to damage my bowling," he said. "I think it's going to help it in different ways. I'm confident in my skill-set to get the job done in any format.”
Lyon emphasised the importance of maintaining confidence and self-belief as key to success in modern day cricket where the game is heavily tilted in favour of the batsmen.
"You have to (be confident)," he says. “Backing yourself is crucial and having that self-belief. The bats are bigger these days, we all know we're going to get hit at some stage. It's about being able to bounce back and pick yourself up and compete in the next ball. So having that belief in yourself, to trust your ability and be confident in your skill set to get the job done (is important)."
Lyon’s most recent shot at an opportunity with the ODI and T20 side came against Indian in January 2016, where he went wicketless and was hit for 134 runs in 18 overs across two ODIs before he bowled just a single over on T20 international debut at the SCG, which went for 15.
The setback saw Lyon being overlooked for the World T20 held later in India with the selectors opting for the young duo of Adam Zampa and Ashton Agar. Disappointed nevertheless, the off-spinner feels that the outing proved to be a great learning curve.
"There weren't too many bowlers having great success out there in the middle. It was a great challenge and I learned a lot about where my one-day bowling is at,” he said. “ Reading the game a lot more and being open to communication with the keeper and the captain. That's probably one big thing, and being able to understand when to attack and when to sit back and defend."
Lyon is confident that he can make great strides in his latest effort to seal a spot for himself in the Carribean and expressed confidence in his own ability.
"I'm really happy with the way the ball is coming out. It's just about being able to adapt. The best players in the world adapt and that's one of my goals," Lyon said.