So I walked over to him and said, 'Mate, come and have a bowl' and he was all, 'Oh mate, gotta roll the wickets'", Bangladesh v Australia, 2nd Test, Chittagong. Among the clubs in competition for the title of best team in Young, a town in the south-west of New South Wales famed for its cherry crops, Schofield was the king of the Blues. ", "He was always looking over his shoulder, because the press and everyone saw him as a stopgap, waiting for the next big match-winning spinner to come along" "When you're on tour and you don't get the chance to play, you'd still rather be part of that squad than sitting at home or in the stands," Lyon says. In a matter of hours, Lyon and the rest had fallen behind in the game. "He came in pretty raw but had natural loop with the ball, had good fingers, and was able to turn it. But in the subcontinent he got too high with the loop. "Someone said, 'That bloke on the roller is a pretty good offspinner' and I said, 'Who is he?' Being told to bowl more like Herath or other Asian spinners was one thing; actually finding practical ways to do so in the midst of an Australian season while trying to hang on to his place was quite another. “It was a harsh judgment … and I was wrong.”, Nathan Lyon of Australia is bowled by Washington Sundar.Source:Getty Images, LIVE BLOG: Australia vs India fourth Test. That's the biggest key in the subcontinent.". He was by far the best cricketer in town. After staying back to the next, flatter, ball, Pujara was surprised by a slower delivery that bit off the surface and flew behind short leg. There is an element of insecurity which comes with being an … Rather than asking Lyon to drop his arm path or try to undercut the ball, they advised him to look closely at the groupings for Herath's deliveries, which emphasise nagging accuracy, a consistent threat to the stumps, and subtle changes in pace and arc. Cricket: Coming out for his 100th test match for Australia, Nathan Lyon stunned the crowd with some career best strokeplay to notch an impressive, albeit modest, total of 24 at The Gabba. That was the thing that was really noticeable - he was able to turn the ball, and he was happy to bowl and ask plenty of questions," Higgs said in 2011, when Lyon first made it to the Australia side. © AFP, "Nathan's great faith in his stock ball is a positive, but it's also a little bit of a negative," says Davison. 29, (pictured) was spotted flashing what appeared to be an engagement ring as she watched him play his 100th game at the Gabba on Saturday. Cricket: Relive Nathan Lyon's astonishing Test debut. Former Australian Test spinner Kerry O’Keeffe has revealed the startling advice he gave Nathan Lyon’s parents in the late 1990s. "My parents and my grandmother all took turns in driving me over, 90 minutes both ways, for a Saturday or a Sunday game or even a training session midweek," Lyon says. We've got to start that education of bowling in different conditions at a really young age.". In time, Lyon was learning that it was vital to beat batsmen in the air and, by extension, gain bounce, rather than relying on too much deviation from the pitch. A combination of brotherly one-upmanship and youth first pushed Lyon towards spin. A NOTE ABOUT RELEVANT ADVERTISING: We collect information about the content (including ads) you use across this site and use it to make both advertising and content more relevant to you on our network and other sites. We just spoke about how if we got one wicket it would be really hard for the new batters to start. I said, 'Mate, my advice to you is: go to the people you trust, whether that's your parents or Davo. By the time of the India tour, they had well and truly turned. AUS Vs IND: Nathan Lyon Praises Mohammed Siraj For 'Calling Out Racist Abuse' The Indian team had lodged an official complaint with the ICC after a … But things were about to unravel. Greg Chappell. Natural instinct would push Pujara further onto the defensive. "He was leaking runs through the leg side and I said to him, 'On the subcontinent players use their wrists and they'll hit you from off stump through the leg side all day, so you've got to get an extra fielder at square leg because they'll just milk you for three singles. Several inept batting displays had exposed Lyon and other bowlers, and though he was not discarded, the selection of Steve O'Keefe for Adelaide against South Africa gave a pretty strong idea of how close Lyon was to the precipice. ", For Lyon, the exchange was soon followed by the aforementioned tournament at Toorak Park, in which he confirmed Berry's earlier impressions. He made his Test debut in 2011 and plays domestic cricket for New South Wales. And Warne, of course, was twice dismantled on India tours, in 1998 and 2001. He came up to me and said, 'We need our spinners to bowl more like Lyon in Australian conditions', and I said, 'Well, we need Lyon to bowl more like your spinners in Indian conditions! Find out more about our policy and your choices, including how to opt-out. 501 FOX CRICKET. The clock was ticking towards lunch. One spring afternoon at Drummoyne Oval last year, Berry ventured down from a television commentary stint for a Matador Cup game to chat to Lyon by the boundary. Long story short, Coxy had a look and said, 'Yeah, looks pretty good, I'll back your judgement. "We organised a session about how he went about bowling in India and got a similar message about being deadly accurate and hitting the stumps more often than not," says Davison. "To see him play 100 Tests tomorrow is … Lyon and his team-mates celebrated not just a single ball but a sequence of mastery. Balls three and four were flighted as temptation, but Pujara offered only defence, barely covering the fourth as it turned in to take the inside part of his bat. Around this time Lyon also began to work with John Davison, who many will remember for his memorable World Cup hundred for Canada. "I'm able to put more revs on it now, but I had to have the courage to flight the ball up as I wasn't going to necessarily spin the batsman out, so I had to try to do guys in the air.". "I used to rate myself as a top three or four batsman back in the day," he says, wistfully. Luckily enough I ended up playing senior cricket as a guy who tried to bat a little bit but also bowled some offbreaks. "I'd say, 'You're an over-the-top, spin-the-ball-and-bounce-it bowler. Sign up, Join the conversation, you are commenting as Logout. "Probably because he didn't have a great background of first-class cricket, Nathan was a little bit concerned as to whether he belonged in that environment," Chappell recalls. “All I saw were these two ears and a not very well spun off-spinner, and I suggested tennis. I've been watching Test cricket and remembering it for probably 60 years, and there haven't been too many fingerspinners to do better than he's done.". I don't think he felt hugely embraced for a long period of time. If it's me, you know I'll be there for you whenever. In the spin weeks we do now, we practise in varying conditions. But on flat wickets, with big bats on small grounds, it's a big-risk ball in short-format cricket.". Record. Playing a role in that process was Mark Higgs, the former ACT and NSW left-arm spinner, who helped Lyon grow into the sort of spinner others began to notice. Given the speed of his initiation, what's most remarkable is how Lyon maintained a consistent place in Australian squads through the next five years, even though he was dropped from the Test team twice in early 2013. Away from the backyard, on more level playing fields, it wasn't always possible to gain as much spin from fledgling fingers. I just tweaked him back to confidence more than anything, not so much technical. Third over. Nathan Lyon has developed a dazzling reputation in recent years, but just nine wickets at an average of 55 against India has worn away some of that sheen, Ben Horne writes. The cricket legend appears to be making an honest woman of the leggy blonde who stole his heart. Looking now at my career, one thing I'm proud about is that resilience and being able to compete in different conditions against the best players in the world.". Jason Krejza's 12 wickets in Nagpur on debut in 2008 came at such a cost that he only earned himself one more Test match - in Perth of all places. "So I rang Coxy, [SA director of cricket and a national selector at the time] and said, 'Mate, this kid down here is sensational.' "I think he outbowled the Indian spinners in India, which is quite an effort. © AFP. Pic: Getty "He bowled his heart out and at times we let him down in the field and at times balls didn't quite go to hand. "Doubly [unfair] when it is a fingerspinner, if you consider that all fingerspinners, not just Australians, have come here and found it hard work. Pujara did get off strike fourth ball but was again discomfited by bounce before making his one successful sally down the pitch to work a single from the sixth. I knew that my opportunity would come again and had to make sure I took it with both hands.". An ensemble performer and also a fine gully fielder, he could, on occasion, be dominant when conditions suited. Don't have an account? Having learnt lessons from a whitewash in Sri Lanka, Lyon returned to the subcontinent the following season to take 41 wickets in six Tests Pujara had faced 15 balls from Lyon, scored four singles, tried four times to go down the wicket and managed to get to the pitch just once before being dismissed. That's a big ask. He can point to a couple of hundreds in junior competitions at the Bradman Oval in Bowral. "I was a pretty tiny fella growing up," he says. “He goes, ‘That’s all right, at least you’ll play one game,’ and he hung up. He was also a decent soccer player, known around Young for his dribbling skills left of midfield. If country competition had allowed Lyon to try all disciplines, the push to play more senior stuff brought focus. Australian spin great Nathan Lyon has said that the hosts have more surprise in line for Indian batsman Cheteshwar Pujara in the remaining three Tests. Numerous Australian spinners can relate to that experience. It is a story for all club cricketers out there to appreciate you are never as far away from the top as you possibly think. ", "I think he outbowled the Indian spinners in India, which is quite an effort. However, you might have to make some adjustments on the crease, some slight variations. Yet the series started to go awry from the moment Kusal Mendis decided he wasn't going to simply melt away in Sri Lanka's second innings in Pallekele, having watched how clueless Australia's batsmen had been against Rangana Herath. It was just what he knew in Australia, and he would always bowl up and over the top, pitch outside off stump, spin in. "Trying to bowl that perfect ball all the time, which batters tend to find some rhythm with in the subcontinent, that perfect ball in Australia isn't necessarily the most effective ball over there. I always wanted to do something bigger and better than Brendan, which gave me confidence to bowl offspin. Mum started crying … called my grandmother and she started crying.”, To join the conversation, please Log in. He said, 'Who is he?' "Nathan Lyon's played a hundred Test matches, that's not easy to do and it means you’re absolutely top of the tree. So I walked over to him and said, 'Mate, come and have a bowl' and he was all, 'Oh mate, gotta roll the wickets', but I insisted. ', "I've never seen him so clouded and confused, and I felt then that he was getting so many messages from different people. When Mike Hussey chose Nathan Lyon to be the custodian of Australia’s team song, it had nothing to do with his cricketing ability. Clear your mind. Having already tried out unsuccessfully for SA, leaving him to juggle club games for Prospect and commutes to play for the ACT, Lyon took some convincing to have a bowl. Aided by an improved batting display, he contributed to wins in Adelaide and Brisbane, before taking a more central role at the MCG. 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