The Indian cricket team has always had world class batsmen who took pride in their ability to handle the best spinners in the world. Be it Shane Warne or Muttiah Muralitharan, no one has had it easy against the Indian batsmen.
But one man who is making it a habit to trouble this generation of Indian batsmen is Australian offie Nathan Lyon. He picked up only 1 wicket in the first innings of the ongoing day-night Test in Adelaide but Lyon troubled all the batsmen he bowled to and consistently created chances against India’s batting mainstay Cheteshwar Pujara, before finally sending him back for 43 on the first day.
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This has led to high praise from former Australian captain Ricky Ponting, who is in awe of Lyon’s ability to generate so much spin on the ball.
“He’s had as much success as any spinner, I think, against India over the years. He’s got Virat Kohli out (in Tests) more than anybody in the history of the game, he looked like he troubled Pujara a lot today,” Ponting told cricket.com.au.
“The right-handers now that come out to bat against him – he gets so much over-spin on the ball when you’ve got fielders around the bat – they must feel like they’re going to get out every ball.
“He builds pressure, he bowls very few bad balls so he’ll be a massive threat for them.” Lyon, who has taken 390 wickets in 96 Tests, bowled from wider of the crease to trouble the Indian batsmen, especially Cheteshwar Pujara.
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“I think it’s more about trying to challenge both edges of the bat,” Ponting said.
“When he creates the angle from wide and angles back in, that really only challenges the inside half of the bat and a glove whereas if he can get it out a little bit wider (off the crease), it brings the catch at slip in play.
Ponting believes that small adjustments makes a lot of difference.
“It brings a bat-pad off-side catch into play and if you get the extra bounce, like Pujara’s wicket, you can still get the wicket at leg slip as well. Small adjustments, we’re only talking four or six inches, but it has so much more effect,” the Aussie legend opined.