Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo
Australia spinner Nathan Lyon has revealed that he was out of contention for the World Cup even before the recent Test series against India started.
Despite picking up 23 wickets at an average of 34.82 during the four-Test series, Lyon was snubbed for left-arm spinner Xavier Doherty.
The national selectors believed that Doherty was a better choice for Australia’s World Cup squad since Lyon would concede too many runs given the new fielding restrictions.
“I personally don’t believe so,” Lyon told ESPNcricinfo. “If you’re bowling well enough and your skills are at the top of their level then it doesn’t matter how many fielders are out. You try to control where the batter is hitting – I know the skill of the batsmen can put you off your game but if the skill of the bowler and especially the spin bowler can come out on top you will end up with the goods anyway.
“I’ve just got to go out and keep bowling well and keep putting my hand up for selection. There’s no point hiding from it, I want to be the spinner in all three formats, so it’s a good challenge for me.”
Even though he will not feature in the World Cup, Lyon admitted that he has enjoyed his time in the ODI squad over the past few months.
“I really enjoyed my time back in the one-day side, while it lasted,” Lyon said. “I played my last game then I got rested, and then went from being rested to dropped completely. That’s how it goes, and when I get my opportunity next I need to take it with both hands again and keep bowling well as I feel I’m bowling at the moment.
“I felt I bowled quite well in the one-day games there, I was really happy and pleased with the way they came out against a quality opposition against spin bowling. To be honest I was over the moon with it. I basically got told before the Test series started [he wouldn’t be in the World Cup squad]. So I didn’t have to worry about it – I’d known for a while.”
Lyon also conceded that he keeps reliving the time when he played for South Australia in 2010-11 since it was during that season that he caught the attention of the national selectors.
“I always check in on it,” Lyon said. “My natural skill was at its best there so I try to go back and replicate those things. I definitely do watch my footage from then and try to keep getting better and better. I do that quite regularly to keep everything in check. I just look at how relaxed I am and the rhythm that I had. A lot of it is pretty mental really, going back to what it felt like to bowl then. It’s something I do to tick all the boxes.”