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I'm no certainty for 1st Indian Test: Lyon
By Greg Buckle
10:09 AEST Sat Feb 9 2013

Australia's No.1 spinner Nathan Lyon says his spot is up for grabs on the tour of India and he's no certainty for the first Test in Chennai from February 22.

Lyon was part of a group of eight players who arrived late on Thursday. The full squad including skipper Michael Clarke is due to assemble on Monday ahead of Australia's opening warm-up game against a President's XI which starts in Chennai the following day.

When chairman of selectors John Inverarity announced the squad, he boasted of the variety of options available including playing three quicks, one spinner and uncapped offspinning allrounder Glenn Maxwell as a five-man attack.

Inverarity says that one spinner is either Lyon or Xavier Doherty.

Lyon said on Friday that if India could field four spinners in a Test against England in Nagpur in December, then Australia should be looking strongly at playing two slow bowlers for this four-Test series.

However as speedster Peter Siddle pointed out this week, Australia have a powerful pace attack even in Indian conditions.

Asked if he was Australia's No.1 spinner, Lyon told AAP: "I would hope so.

"But that's the beauty of Australian cricket at the moment, especially the squad we've got over here," the 19-Test spinner added.

"We've got different players and different skill levels to be able to create whatever Pup and Mickey (captain/selector Michael Clarke and coach/selector Mickey Arthur) want to take into the Test match.

"I've got to be bowling my best to cement my spot.

"I'm no guarantee to be picked in the first Test."

Tasmanian left-armer Doherty, who played two Tests in 2010, is the other frontline spinner in the squad. Doherty has picked up two scalps at an average of 80.00 in Sheffield Shield cricket this summer.

Australia have the option of picking two quicks plus uncapped seam-bowling allrounder Moises Henriques in a five-man attack with Lyon and Doherty.

Lyon has claimed 61 Test wickets at 32.16 but is yet to face the challenge of bowling spin in a Test in India, where batsmen have been raised on a diet of offbreaks.

"I really enjoyed the Australian summer just gone against South Africa and Sri Lanka," Lyon said.

"I was quite happy with the way I went (19 wickets at 41.73).

"(But) I've got to keep improving."

Lyon said he had done his homework on England's recent triumph in India.

"I was pretty intrigued by the way Monty Panesar and Graeme Swann bowled to the Indians," Lyon said.

England's two spinners took 37 wickets in four Tests.

"Hopefully there'll be an opportunity where two spinners will be able to go out on the field together for Australia," Lyon added.

"With the quality of quicks that we've brought over, I don't think India will be really wanting a green, seam-friendly pitch."


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