Even though Nathan Lyon was the highest wicket taker in test cricket in 2017, he has been regularly ignored by the national selectors for the shorter formats of the game. In place of Lyon, selectors have chosen to go with Adam Zampa and Ashton Agar in ODI and T20I matches.
However, national selector and former Australia cricketer, Mark Waugh, recently praised Lyon for his performances in the ongoing Big Bash League. The spinner has taken 6 wickets with an average of less than 10 and has an economy of less than 6. On the other hand, Zampa who played in the 1st ODI finished his spell with the figures of 0/72. Following which he was dropped for the 2nd ODI, as the Australian management decided to go with just 3 frontline bowlers.
Lyon came into the Big Bash after playing a vital role in Australia’s Ashes win as he took a total of 21 wickets in 5 matches. The recent performances from the test specialist has prompted many pundits to ask for his inclusion in the limited over squad too.
Mark Waugh has backed Adam Zampa to return with a bang in the upcoming matches. However, he was also very confident about the future of Lyon in limited over format.
While speaking to Sky Sports radio, Mark Waugh said, “He’s bowling well isn’t he? Doesn’t matter what form of the game he’s bowling in at the moment.”
“He’s just gone to another level really. I think his confidence has flown through to his white ball cricket, as well as his red ball.”
“He’s definitely pushing for selection in all three formats.”
The former Australian international also explained why Zampa has been selected regularly over Nathan Lyon. He said, “At the moment Adam Zampa is in the one-day squad, and he’s done a good job.”
“Nathan Lyon’s ODI form few years ago wasn’t as good as it could possibly be. He’s definitely in the frame, there is no doubt about that.”
“We’re not discounting him, he’s just bowling too well to ignore.”
“At the moment you can only fit 11 players in the squad.”
“More of, there’s not enough room at the moment, but he’s definitely on the radar.”
Since making his debut in February 2016 against New Zealand, Zampa has played 28 ODI matches and has taken 40 wickets. However, 2017 proved to be a lot more difficult for him as the wickets dried and he was left out of the playing on numerous occasion to accommodate another seamer.
The 25-year-old was not picked for the ODI series against India late last year and now with Zampa bowling so well, he can be rest assured that 2018 won’t be any easier.
Following being dropped for the India series, Zampa spoke to the media and acknowledged that this was a wake-up call for him.
The leg-spinner said, “I really want to cement my spot in this team. I feel like I’m on edge a little bit at the moment and I think that’s probably a good thing.”
“I think I perform at my best when there’s guys trailing me, like Ash, who’s bowling really well with the white ball. I think if anything, that’ll really help me,” he further added.
Lyon who played his last ODI against Sri Lanka in August 2016 alongside Zampa, recently spoke about having high hopes of being selected in the Australian World Cup squad of next year.
He said, “To be a part of a World Cup would be pretty special,” Lyon told Cricket Australia this week.
“That’s definitely on my radar, I would love to be in that squad. I missed out on the home World Cup here (in 2015).”