Nathan eyes Lyon's haul in Ashes

For all the talk of Nathan Lyon as Australia's greatest off spinner, his 269 Test wickets and a brilliant recent showing in Bangladesh, he's constantly looking over his shoulder.

He's desperate to play in all five Ashes Test matches this summer, but knows fellow spinners Steve O'Keefe and Ashton Agar are anxiously waiting in the wings if his ever-expanding standards dip.

"As soon as you start getting too comfortable it gets taken away from you," the 69-Test veteran said.

"At the moment I'm probably getting hunted down by all the other spinners, so I need to go out there and keep improving.

"I'm doing that here in Sydney, I'll do that in the domestic one-day competition for NSW, keep going out and trying to perform well for those guys. Then we've got three [Sheffield] Shield games before the first Ashes Test. "There's no spot certain, that's for sure."

Despite Lyon's apprehension, his position is now one of the safest in the Australian Test team.

He took a staggering 22 wickets in Bangladesh in the two-Test series including 13 in the second Test, which Australia won to level the contest 1-1.

In the process, he leapfrogged Jason Gillespie into seventh on Australia's Test wickets list, and needs 23 more to go past Craig McDermott and break into the top six.

Australia hope to have four healthy pacemen for the opening Ashes Test at the Gabba, starting on November 23, with Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood and James Pattinson all vying to be fit alongside Pat Cummins.

One of that quartet will likely miss out for Lyon, who has taken 26 wickets in his six Brisbane Tests.

"I know what you guys will write in the papers and there'll be Fox Sports headlines saying there's four quicks for the Gabba," Lyon said

"I'm comfortable with where I'm sitting at the moment. I'm really confident, especially coming off the back of Bangladesh."

This summer marks the first Ashes series in more than two years, England having held the urn since winning on home soil midway through 2015.

That levelled the historic tally at 32 Ashes wins apiece for Australia and England, with five drawn series.

"I've been fortunate enough to play in two away ones where unfortunately we haven't been able to bring back the urn, and I've been fortunate enough to play one home one where we absolutely pantsed them and had a very, very great summer where we won five nil," Lyon said.

"I know what the feeling was among Australian cricket and the Australian public then. I want to recreate that again with the squad now. We've got a really good squad, we've got a young squad and the sky's the limit for us.

"We've got really good leaders with Steve Smith and Davey Warner so there's no reason why we can't go out there and hold up the urn come the Sydney Test match."

Lyon has linked up with the NSW Blues ahead of the domestic one-day series, and he also plans to play three shield games leading into the Ashes.

AAP reports Australia have added Peter Handscomb to their one-day squad in India after opener Aaron Finch succumbed to injury. Finch will miss most of the five-match series, starting in Chennai on Sunday, after his troublesome right calf flared up during training.

This story Nathan eyes Lyon's haul in Ashes first appeared on The Sydney Morning Herald.