In-form Lyon never lost confidence

Australia

Australia spinner Nathan Lyon says he never lost heart when he was dropped for the first two Ashes Tests and replaced by debutant teen Ashton Agar, saying he always expects his place to be in danger.

Australia spinner Nathan Lyon says he never lost heart when he was dropped for the first two Ashes Tests and replaced by debutant teen Ashton Agar, saying he always expects his place to be in danger.

Lyon is Australia's most experienced spinner since Shane Warne's retirement, and being dropped in favour of Agar shocked most people watching. But when he got his chance in the third Test in Manchester, he made sure to impress.

Lyon said of being left out of the first two games: "It didn't knock my confidence around. I knew the reason why I wasn't playing. I was obviously disappointed, there's no doubt about that.

"I knew what I had to do to keep putting my hand up for selection and I'm happy with the way I'm bowling at the moment so I've just got to keep bowling well and keep contributing to the Australian team.

"Being the No.1 spinner over the last couple of years you're the hunted so everyone wants to take your spot. Obviously that motivates you to keep getting better and better.

"I want to compete with the best in the world at my craft. I've still got a long way to go and I've got to keep working hard to achieve that goal.

"It felt like my debut again in Manchester. I was full or nerves playing in my first Ashes series. It's a dream come true for an Australian kid growing up to tour England and play in an Ashes series."

Lyon was the key man for the Aussies on day one in Durham, taking four wickets, including that of danger man Kevin Pietersen. While he enjoyed the success, he didn't want to jinx it by getting over-confident.

He said: They're the challenges that I love, someone taking the game to you. That's why we play our cricket. There's no doubt he's one of the best batters in the world.

"I was lucky enough to come out on top but cricket's a funny game so I'm not saying too much."

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