Lyon not ready to step aside for Swepson

Mitchell Swepson has won Nathan Lyon's seal of approval but it does not mean Australia's experienced spinner is ready to step aside.

The lack of a seam bowling all-rounder in the party means the most viable way of putting Mitchell Swepson in the XI would be to rest experienced Australia off-spinner Nathan Lyon.

The lack of a seam bowling all-rounder in the party means the most viable way of putting Mitchell Swepson in the XI would be to rest experienced Australia off-spinner Nathan Lyon.   -  Getty Images

Nathan Lyon is in no mood to give up his Australia place and hand Mitchell Swepson a taste of Test cricket because Shane Warne would never have done likewise.

Australia took an unassailable 2-0 lead in its three-match series against New Zealand by closing out a comprehensive 247-run win in the Boxing Day Test at the MCG.

It means there could be a temptation to look to the future in Sydney later this week, with uncapped leg-spinner Swepson part of Tim Paine's squad.

However, the lack of a seam bowling all-rounder in the party means the most viable way of putting the 26-year-old in the XI would be to rest experienced off-spinner Lyon.

Warne is among those who has urged Swepson's inclusion but Lyon shot back – invoking the Australia great's long-time rivalry with compatriot Stuart MacGill, himself an exceptional leg-spinner whose opportunities in international cricket were limited by sharing an era with one of the finest talents to grace the game.

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"Did Warney ever want a rest and give Stuart MacGill a go? I won't be resting," Lyon, whose 380 Test wickets place him 18th on the all-time list, told reporters.

"I haven't met any Australian cricketer who would like to be rested.

"It's that hard playing Test cricket, but it's that rewarding as well so every opportunity you get to play cricket for Australia, it means the world to us.

"So I can't imagine Mitch Starc, Pat [Cummins] or Patto [James Pattinson] putting his hand up to say I need a rest.

'I know talking to those guys just after the game last night they're pretty pumped about coming up to Sydney and hopefully going three-nil up in the series against the number two team in the world.

"There's definitely no-one in that bowling cartel that really wants to put their hand up and say 'I want a rest'."

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Nevertheless, Lyon professed himself to be a huge admirer of Swepson's talents and would relish playing in tandem with his fellow tweaker.

"Mitch has been bowling brilliantly for Queensland," the 32-year-old said.

"He's a great fella to start off with, but he gives it a rip and that's what I really love to see.

"I'm a big fan of Mitch, it's great to see him in and around our squad so he gets his chance and fingers crossed we can have a great combination together."

Lyon added: "I really enjoy bowling with another spinner.

"We get through our overs quite quickly and feel like we can build some pressure.

"If Sweppo does get his opportunity, to play alongside another leg-spinner is going to be pretty exciting but it's not up to me to make that call."

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