Nathan Lyon triggers Indian collapse

Off-spinner claims 8/50 as India crash to 189 all out

Nathan Lyon triggers Indian collapse

An off-spinner took an astonishing eight wickets for 50 runs on the opening day of the second Test between India and Australia. And it wasn’t Ravichandran Ashwin.

It was, instead, Nathan Lyon whose Saturday’s figures, the best for a visiting bowler in an innings in India, consigned the hosts to another low total here at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium.

 Opting to bat first, India crashed to 189 on a pitch that’s a spinners’ delight without being as treacherous as the Pune pitch.  Local boy K L Rahul, who is playing his first Test on home turf, weathered the Lyon storm with a fighting 90 (205b, 9x4) but there was nothing much to shout home about the rest of India’s batting. Australia, at close, were 40 without losing any of their openers. A sub-200 score on the board meant India’s cumulative total of last three innings – 401 runs -- against Australia isn’t even close to the gigantic 750-plus they posted against England in Chennai in their last series.

In fact, India’s last three totals before the Australia series were 687 (vs Bangladesh), 759 and 631 (vs England) in that order. If one hoped Pune batting was just an aberration, the performance here demolished that thought as Lyon bettered his previous best show (7/94 in Delhi in 2013) in an innings against India. His spin partner Steve O’Keefe, who grabbed 12 wickets in Pune, claimed only the wicket of Karun Nair but he beautifully complemented Lyon with sustained pressure from the other end thanks to his nagging line and length.
 

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