I'm over the moon, says an elated Lyon

I'm over the moon, says an elated Lyon

 Nathan Lyon said he was over the moon after helping Australia skittle India out for a modest 189 in 72.2 overs with scarcely believable bowling figures of eight for 50 here on Saturday.

These are the best returns in an innings for a visiting bowler. South African all-rounder Lance Klusener’s 8/64 in Kolkata in 1996 was the previous best for a non-Indian bowler.

 “I'm over the moon with what happened today, I'll go back and reflect on it very shortly,” said the off-spinner during his interaction with the media. “I don't need to prove to anyone. I've proven enough to myself that I can compete at this level and I want to keep doing that for Australia. This is where my passion lies and I want to keep doing well for Australia,” he remarked.

Prior to the ongoing series, Lyon had played three Tests in India for 15 wickets and each of those wickets had cost him over 37 runs. Having bowled in just three innings on this tour, the 29-year-old has already collected 13 scalps at an impressive average of fewer than 10 runs per wicket! Success, however, hasn’t come overnight for the lanky spinner. Only last year he travelled to Sri Lanka for the three-Test series and claimed 16 wickets in three Tests but it wasn’t enough to prevent Australia getting whitewashed 3-0 by Rangana Herath and Co.

 “Yeah a fair bit, if I have to be brutally honest,” he said when asked as to how much work he has put in since the Lankan series.

He also gave credit to former Canada batsman John Davison, who has been Lyon’s mentor with his primary craft, and Darren Berry, the Sydney Sixers’ coach. “After the tour of Sri Lanka I went home and reflected on my performance. I worked very hard in the lead up to the BBL games. I was going down to the matches two hours before and bowling in the nets. John and Darren worked on my strength and obviously I studied what (Ravi) Ashwin does. He is one of the best spinners in the world,” he offered.

 Besides picking a trick or two by watching Ashwin’s bowling footage, Lyon also has drawn inspiration from Lankan great Herath whose strength is to consistently hit the same spot. “I dare say you can look at it that way but I know that the Indians are brilliant players of spin,” he noted when asked if he was unsure of which balls turned.

“SOK (Steve O’Keefe) and other spinners and myself just said we have to stay patient. You look at Rangana Herath and what does he do: he hits the same spot over and over again. He said to me after the series in Sri Lanka, 'I don't know if they're going to spin either.' So I'm working on the same plan as Rangana and it’s going alright,” he reasoned.

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