Lyon praised as Zampa is left out

Selector Mark Waugh backs leg-spinner but says Test tweaker has not been discounted from ODI and T20 sides

Martin Smith & Louis Cameron

19 January 2018, 03:00 PM AEST

National selector Mark Waugh says Nathan Lyon is in the frame for a one-day recall as Australia dropped Adam Zampa for their match against England in Brisbane.

Speaking on Friday morning, before Zampa was left out for the second Gillette ODI at the Gabba, Waugh said Lyon is bowling "too well to ignore" and insisted the off-spinner has not been pegged as a Test specialist.

Fresh off his starring role in the Magellan Ashes, Lyon has continued his hot form in the KFC Big Bash League with six wickets at 9.83 in three matches for Sydney Sixers.

With an economy rate of 4.91, the right-armer is BBL|07's most frugal bowler (minimum 10 overs bowled), prompting calls from former ODI batsman Dean Jones for him to be added to Australia's ODI squad.

While Waugh backed incumbent Zampa, pointing to the leggie's strong record in the 50-over format, he conceded Lyon is mounting a compelling case for a limited-overs recall.

"It doesn't matter what form of the game he's bowling in at the moment. He's gone to another level," Waugh told Sky Sports radio.

"His confidence has flown through to his white-ball cricket. He's definitely pushing for selection in all three formats.

Lyon lifts the Sixers with three wickets

"At the moment Adam Zampa is in the one-day squad and he's done a good job when he's been in there.

"Nathan Lyon's one-day form a few years ago wasn't as good as what it could possibly be now. He's definitely in the frame, we're not discounting him.

"He's just bowling too well to ignore, but at the moment you can only fit 11 players in the (team).

"It's a very good squad and Zampa's record is good. (Lyon's exclusion) is probably more that there's not enough room, but he's definitely on the radar."

Lyon completes magnificent seven over Moeen

In 28 ODIs since his debut in February 2016, Zampa has taken 40 wickets at 32.90 and was the leading ODI wicket taker in 2016.

But since that breakout year, he's found the going a little tougher. He's collected 10 wickets at 48.20 in his 10 matches since the start of 2017 and briefly lost his spot on Australia's ODI tour of India to Ashton Agar late last year.

He bowled tightly early in his spell at the MCG last Sunday, a fact noted by captain Steve Smith post-match, but ended up recording figures of 0-72, the worst of his career.

While he's often been left out in Australian conditions in favour of a four-man pace attack, Zampa's absence from the Brisbane clash was part of a significant shake-up of the entire side. His spot was taken by batsman Cameron White as the Aussies opted for just three frontline bowlers alongside allrounders Travis Head, Mitchell Marsh and Marcus Stoinis.

Match Highlights: First ODI - Australia v England

Former England captain Kevin Pietersen questioned the selection, saying the good form of leg-spinners Mitchell Swepson, Yasir Shah and Shadab Khan for Brisbane Heat at the Gabba in the KFC BBL this underlines the role spin can play at the venue.

"I think Australia have made a bit of a boo-boo by not playing Adam Zampa," Pietersen told Wide World of Sports of his Melbourne Stars teammate.

"Speaking to Brendon McCullum, who captains the Heat up here, he talks about spin playing a massive role here at the Gabba.

"That's the shortest form of the game, but I do think spin plays its role here. The seamers get whacked and the spinners control the game."

Speaking last week, Zampa labelled his axing in India "a wake-up call" and said he bowls his best when the heat is on.

"I really want to cement my spot in this team," he said. "I feel like I'm on edge a little bit at the moment and I think that's probably a good thing.

Zampa resolved after ODI wake-up call

"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."

Lyon played the last of his 14 ODIs in August 2016 against Sri Lanka, where he featured alongside Zampa on a turning pitch in Colombo, and holds high hopes of a recall ahead of next year's World Cup in the United Kingdom.

"To be a part of a World Cup would be pretty special," Lyon told cricket.com.au 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).

"There's no secrets ... I want to be playing all formats of cricket for Australia."

Waugh said the fact players like Lyon and Glenn Maxwell are currently on the outer indicates there's healthy competition for spots in the side.

"It's like all players in the squad, there's pressure on a lot of spots and that's just one of them," Waugh said. "Everyone has spoken about Glenn Maxwell not being in the squad, now it's Nathan Lyon.

"We've got a lot of competition there, a lot of quality.

"Now we've just got to win some games, our one day form hasn't been good as we'd hoped for in the last 12 months.

"The more players putting pressure on the players in the squad, the better for Australian cricket."

2017-18 International Fixtures

Gillette ODI Series v England

Australia ODI squad: Steve Smith (c), David Warner (vc), Pat Cummins, Aaron Finch, Josh Hazlewood, Travis Head, Mitchell Marsh, Tim Paine, Jhye Richardson, Mitchell Starc, Marcus Stoinis, Andrew Tye, Cameron White, Adam Zampa.

England ODI squad: Eoin Morgan (c), Moeen Ali, Jonny Bairstow, Jake Ball, Sam Billings, Jos Buttler, Tom Curran, Alex Hales, Dawid Malan, Liam Plunkett, Adil Rashid, Joe Root, Jason Roy, David Willey, Chris Woakes, Mark Wood.

First ODI England won by five wickets at the MCG.

Second ODI Gabba, January 19. Tickets

Third ODI SCG, January 21. Tickets

Fourth ODI Adelaide Oval, January 26. Tickets

Fifth ODI Perth Stadium, January 28. Tickets

Prime Minister's XI

PM's XI v England Manuka Oval, February 2. Tickets

Gillette T20 trans-Tasman Tri-Series

England T20 squad: Eoin Morgan (c), Sam Billings, Jos Buttler, Tom Curran, Liam Dawson, Alex Hales, Chris Jordan, Dawid Malan, Liam Plunkett, Adil Rashid, Joe Root, Jason Roy, Ben Stokes, James Vince, David Willey, Mark Wood.

First T20I Australia v NZ, SCG, February 3. Tickets

Second T20I Australia v England, Blundstone Arena, February 7. Tickets

Third T20I Australia v England, MCG, February 10. Tickets

Fourth T20I NZ v England, Wellington, February 14

Fifth T20I NZ v Australia, Eden Park, February 16

Sixth T20I NZ v England, Seddon Park, February 18

Final TBC, Eden Park, February 21