Nathan Lyon has been a revelation for the Australians in this test series, using his guile, height and revolutions to spin a web around the Indian batsmen. In the first two tests he was immensely helped by the rough created outside the right handers off stump by Starc, and he exploited it to his full potential.
All the talk before the series was about how the Australians would deal with the stiff challenge of Ravichandran Ashwin, the number 1 test bowler in the world. And to their credit, the Aussies haven’t had much of a problem playing and scoring against him. While England and New Zealand were completely bamboozled by Ashwin’s trickery, the Aussies have found a method to keep Ashwin at bay.
And in the meanwhile it has been Lyon who has emerged as the best off spinner this series. Lyon has a side on action and thus is able to put a lot more body into this deliveries, something that helps him extract the extra bounce, which is absolutely lethal in sub continent conditions. Also, Lyon has been imparting a lot of overspin on the balls and a lot of it again has to do with him putting a lot of body into his action. Ian Chappell too has attributed Lyon’s success to the ‘extra bounce’ he generates.
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“It’s his ability to get overspin on the ball and to get that extra bounce if you look at a couple of his wickets that were brought about by bounce, particularly Karun Nair,” Chappell was quoted by ESPNcricinfo.
“It was the bounce that fooled him, so I think that was the big difference between Lyon and (Ravichandran) Ashwin and even though Ashwin is a taller bowler, because he doesn’t overspin the ball as much as Nathan Lyon, he doesn’t get that one that occasionally really bounces off the pitch.” Chappell added.
Chappell also felt that the Indians did not approach Lyon in the best possible way in the first innings, letting him settle into his rhythm and playing him too defensively.
The Indian batsmen had a defensive approach during the day and one got the impression that they were looking to play out the day which allowed the bowlers to make a comeback and as they lost wickets didn’t really have the runs on the board.
Had the Indian batsmen attacked Lyon he wouldn’t have settled into the rhythm he did which saw him bowl attacking lines right outside the off-stump and constantly trouble the right-handers. “I thought that spell where he got the wickets I thought that was a terrific spell from Lyon. That’s another reason I thought India should have been a bit more pro-active before tea when Lyon wasn’t bowling quite as well in that period. He got Australia right back into the game,” he said.