Nathan Lyon may have got just a single wicket after sending down 30-odd overs on the day but he feels that his effort on Saturday during India’s first innings was way better than his 11-wicket match haul in Indore on a track designed for spinners. India finished the third day at 289 for 3 in reply to Australia’s 480 on a good batting deck. “It’s more of a patient game. When the pitch is like Indore… I felt like I bowled better today than what I did in Indore. And it’s just coming down to doing your basics well enough for long enough,” Lyon said. For him, Tests like these are decided in the last half an hour and right now it is on even keel.
“Where are we in the game? I think it’s pretty even to be honest with you, we know in this part of the world, games can speed up quite quickly, so it’s about being patient for long periods of time and not chasing the game,” the veteran off-spinner said.
In sub-continental conditions, the black soil seems to hold the surface better compared to red soil.
“Over here what I’ve learned, the black soil seems to hold together a lot better than the red soil. There’s not an overly great deal of footmarks out there to hit for spinners.
“We may see it start to go up and down a little bit more. but even talking to Starcy (Starc’s nickname). He is putting in a lot of effort and the ball just seems to be stopping in the wicket.”
Lyon is confident that there will be a result with two days left in the game.
“Tomorrow is a new day. We had (89 overs) on that wicket today. With the warmer weather here hopefully there’s still a result in this game. We’ve just got to bowl well in the morning and get the pressure in their change room,” Lyon opined.
The Australian team will do well to dig deep into their experiences of playing in Pakistan last year.
“Yeah 100 per cent,” Lyon said.
“These are the type of Test matches that are won in the last half an hour of day five, and these are the type of Test matches you want to be a part of. The hard grind with a potential great reward at the end of it. They’re challenging, but we’re all up for a challenge, and it’s a proper grind, good Test cricket.”
Lyon has now seen two good knocks from Shubman Gill against Australia. While Brisbane by sheer magnitude of the effort remains a better effort, 128 at Motera wouldn’t be far behind as it was a different sort of knock.
“I felt the way Shubman played was exceptional to be honest. His defence was there but he was also quite proactive and wanted to look to score.
“That one I got him out was probably a little bit flatter, a little bit faster than what he was expecting. So a decent ball on my behalf, but I thought the way he went about it was pretty special. His second Test hundred and he looked quite comfortable and confident with the way he was going about it. He’s definitely a special player.”
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