Lyon’s confidence through the roof

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Former Australia skipper Ricky Ponting has heaped praise on off-spinner Nathan Lyon who has made a sublime start to the Ashes campaign.

Lyon made headlines ahead of the series by saying he wanted to end the careers of some of the England players which some took as bluster but it has become apparent that the 30-year-old can back it up.

The legendary Aussie skipper commended Lyon’s ability to bounce back from a testing tour of Sri Lanka which had many calling for him to be axed.

Ponting told “Nathan’s confidence has gone through the roof and it’s grown tenfold since the tour of Sri Lanka last year when he lost all confidence.

“To be able to bounce back from that and have the year that he’s had so far says a lot about him and the confidence the captain has in him.

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“I’ve watched him for a long time, I’ve played with him for a few years, the way he’s releasing the ball now is just absolutely superb.”

It is not just Australians giving Lyon kudos though with former England skipper Kevin Pietersen waxing lyrical about the spinner’s prowess.

Pietersen told “Lyon, with what he’s doing to all the left-handers, he’s gone to a new level.

“His finger spin is something pretty special.

“He’s surprised everyone. One of the commentators said, ‘I want to go and ask him how come he’s become so good’.

“His control, his spin, is just phenomenal, it really is.

“I’m super impressed with what he’s done. The thing is, he talked the talk before the series. He must’ve known how well he was bowling because he’s walking the walk, and England haven’t helped themselves – they’ve picked six or seven left-handers, (which is) stupidity.”

Australia meet England in the third Test of the Ashes at the WACA in Perth from December 14.