Australian Test off-spinner Nathan Lyon will return to the New South Wales Blues’ squad for round three of the JLT Sheffield Shield against Tasmania at the Sydney Cricket Ground starting on Monday.
The match begins two days later than originally scheduled.
Lyon is one of three changes to the squad that was defeated by Victoria at the MCG last week. Fellow spinner Steve O’Keefe, seamer Sean Abbott and Lyon replace allrounder Daniel Sams, leg-spinner Daniel Fallins and fast bowler Mickey Edwards.
O’Keefe returns to the squad after he missed the last match due to a slight calf strain.
The left arm finger spinner has an exceptional record at the traditionally spin-friendly SCG, having claimed 53 Shield wickets on the famous ground for the Blues at the impressive average of 23.64.
Remarkably Lyon, the leading off-spinner in Australian Test history, has played just two Shield games at the SCG and claimed only one wicket. In 34 Shield appearances overall for South Australia and NSW, he has played at four different venues in Sydney and two in regional NSW as well as Canberra.
Lyon and O’Keefe are among three spinners in the squad. Jason Sangha, 19, is third member of the trio.
Sangha claimed his first three First Class wickets in the loss to Victoria in Melbourne. The leg-spinning allrounder returned 3-80 from 27 overs in the first innings.
The upcoming fixture against Tasmania will be the 23rd match for Lyon in the Baggy Blue. He has claimed 64 First Class wickets for NSW.
His last match for the Blues was earlier this year in the Sheffield Shield against Western Australia at the WACA Ground.
Lyon was the leading wicket taker for Australia during the recent two-match Test series against Pakistan in the United Arab Emirates. He claimed 12 scalps, including best figures of 4-78, where he claimed 4-0 in six balls.
In the process of that haul, Lyon became the fourth all-time leading wicket taker for Australia in the Test match arena. He has claimed 318 Test scalps among his 465 First Class wickets.
Tasmania has started the Sheffield season with one win and one loss from the opening two rounds. While the Blues are yet to register a win this season, they came close to victory in round one during the draw against South Australia at Adelaide Oval in a match marred by rain.
South Australia was at one stage 5/41 late on day four of that match and, but for the resistance of Jake Lehmann and Joe Mennie, the Blues may have secured the win.
Play starts at 10:30 am on Monday at the SCG and live streamed on cricket.com.au.
New South Wales Blues Sheffield Shield squad
Peter Nevill ( c )
(12th man to be named at the toss)