Nathan Lyon in staggering development amid Aussie woes at Cricket World Cup

The Aussie spinner has expressed interest in joining Australia's World Cup squad in India.

Nathan Lyon, pictured here during the Ashes series.
Nathan Lyon says he's fit and ready for the Cricket World Cup. Image: Getty

Nathan Lyon says he is "right to go" if coach Andrew McDonald wishes to call him into Australia's World Cup squad in India. Injuries have limited Australia's spin options, with Adam Zampa the only choice after Ashton Agar withdrew from the squad late last month.

Lyon says he reached out to the Australian coach to let him know he was back bowling and is ready to step up and tackle India's spin-friendly decks. "I sent Andrew McDonald a text message the other day when Ashton Agar was ruled out and said, 'Just so you know, I'm back bowling. I'm right to go'," he said. "If that happens, I'd do anything to go over and play in the World Cup."

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Australia's options are limited away from Zampa, with Glenn Maxwell's off-breakers unlikely to yield the results of a full-time spinner. Alternatively Travis Head could become an option when he recovers from a left hand fracture he sustained in Australia's fourth one-day international against South Africa last month.

The pair have had success when called on in the past with Maxwell earning player-of-the-match honours with a four wicket haul in an ODI against India last month, while Head saw success in a tour of Sri Lanka last year.

Lyon says if called on he would back the duo to cause trouble. "I feel like Maxy's skillset is up there. He's extremely confident in his skillset, so 100 per cent I'm backing his skillset to do the job there," he said. "When Travis Head comes back, when he's fit, I daresay his off-breaks would be able to be quite effective as well."

Australia's greatest-ever Test off spinner has been on the sidelines since suffering a serious calf strain in the second Ashes Test at Lords in late June. The 35-year-old is targeting a return to premier cricket on October 14, putting behind a difficult four-months before playing for NSW in the Marsh Cup on October 20 against Adelaide.

"It was very challenging at the start, when the guys were still playing in the Ashes. I found myself struggling quite a fair bit just mentally," Lyon said. "But apart from that, rehab, calf stuff's been going really well. It's been a nice break."

Lyon has made a name for himself internationally in Test Cricket across 122 Tests but has also represented Australia in white-ball cricket on 31 occasions. The most recent of his 29 ODI caps came in the 2019 World Cup in England.

"I'd be more than comfortable going in and doing it if I had to," Lyon said. "But in saying that, there's got to be a lot of things go wrong. Let's hope for Australia's sake that doesn't happen. Hopefully they go out there and have a really good campaign."

Nathan Lyon, pictured here during the Ashes
Nathan Lyon suffered a calf injury in the Ashes. Image: Getty

Australia's spin woes clear in World Cup loss to India

Australia fell to World Cup hosts India by six-wickets as Australia's spinners failed to replicate the damage of their counterparts. Australia's batters susceptibility to spin was blatantly obvious as six of the top seven fell to slow bowlers.

“Their spinners were tough work out there,” Australian captain Pat Cummins admitted in the post-match presentation. Australia's pace bowlers did the damage, cleaning up three wickets early before turning to their spinners, a move which many believed was premature.

Part-timer Glenn Maxwell was brought on first and went for 0-33 from his eight overs, while Adam Zampa failed to make an impact registering figures of 0-53 from eight. India's tweakers had Australia on the ropes halting Australia's strong start. Ravindra Jadeja's 3-28 changed the game as he took his three wickets in the space of 2.3 overs, with Australia going from 2-110 to 5-119 in next to no time.

Spinner Kuldeep Yadav also registered figures of 2-42, which included the key wicket of David Warner for 41. Cummins reflected on the defeat post game swiftly pointing to not enough runs as the reason for defeat as opposed to the well-documented lack of spin options.

"We had them three for none basically with our quick bowlers, so I wasn't too upset (about the lack of spin options)," Cummins said post game. "We still had 20 overs of spin. I think with another 50 on the board there that bowling innings looks a little bit different."

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