He still had to find a way in India, however, and during the Big Bash League he spent considerable time with both Berry and Davison. "But even while he was finding his feet, he bowled pretty well. If he looked like he was in a bit of trouble, Michael would get him out of there, and then with a new batsman he'd get him back. Much as Berry in his generation had been reminded of Tim May, Chappell was struck by how much Lyon's tall, slender frame, high action and drift, drop and spin recalled Ashley Mallett. "I first saw him at Manuka nets," Davison says. He defended another flat offbreak down the wicket, before Shaun Marsh dived at midwicket to stop a flick from penetrating a carefully set field. Backyard contests took place behind the family home, where a pronounced slope - steeper than Lord's at any rate - meant there was an advantage to be found in spinning it downwards. We didn't change too much with seam position or line, but with trajectory - just mix one up and four down as opposed to probably 12 up and one down [which is] his repertoire in Australia where he gets bounce. Watch Australia v India Test Series Live & Ad-Break Free During Play with the Fox Cricket commentary team. Nathan Lyon played a pivotal role in breaching the Edgbaston fortress on Day Five of the first match of the 2019 Ashes. Cricket: Nathan Lyon took the wicket of opener Rohit Sharma with a lovely delivery in his first spell at the Gabba on day two of the fourth test. "Rahul Dravid was out here with the India A guys 18 months ago. "Consistency is Nathan's strength. ", "I saw the ball come out of an offspinner's fingers with genuine fizz and drift and loop and thought straightaway, 'This is special, this isn't just a flat offie'" 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. In the spin weeks we do now, we practise in varying conditions. I really needed to nail down this offbreak bowling.". CANCEL. It was sustained excellence, and a microcosm of his Asian efforts in 2017. "Something Nathan adapted really well from Sri Lanka to India is when guys were trying to sweep him. "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. Away from the backyard, on more level playing fields, it wasn't always possible to gain as much spin from fledgling fingers. Davison can remember sitting with Lyon during the interval as he coped with the pressure of being the man expected to conjure something from a wearing wicket. It was not a happy conversation. But Kohli and Vijay batted really well, put on a good partnership. The clock was ticking towards lunch. [But] we're going to face a bit of criticism here for plucking someone from nowhere', but I saw enough in three or four balls to know this bloke is special. ", For Lyon, the exchange was soon followed by the aforementioned tournament at Toorak Park, in which he confirmed Berry's earlier impressions. The path there has been bumpy, Spin the ball hard, mix up the pace, follow your instincts, "I saw the ball come out of an offspinner's fingers with genuine fizz and drift and loop and thought straightaway, 'This is special, this isn't just a flat offie'", "I believe my stock ball will get anyone out in the world in any conditions, but it's about challenging their defence more regularly from different angles, spots and variations. 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. He batted four and would open the bowling. What they put together lifted Lyon to a pair of wondrous Asian tours, and takes him into the Ashes as a standout example of rural resilience, spin bowling skill, and a level of adaptability not even he thought he had. Nathan Lyon dismissed Kumar Sangakkara with his first ball on his way to 5 for 34 on Test debut AFP Following the retirement of Shane Warne, Australia went through 11 … Smith, who challenged Lyon to adapt, grew appreciably in his admiration this year. "When they're defending, I think he looks very dangerous, as well as bowling some cross-seam deliveries that don't drift and go a bit straighter - something he wasn't doing very well in Sri Lanka, but I thought he did extremely well in India and since then in Bangladesh as well.". Having been to India and the UAE previously, coming to Sri Lanka in 2016, Lyon had experience others had lacked. Remote Record Which set-top box would you like to use? "You need to look at the way the Indians or the Sri Lankans or the Bangladeshis bowl and learn the way they're thinking and the ways they're trying to get us Australians out. "We probably haven't learned from those past tours.". "In your head it is ugly because it's something you've trained yourself out of doing from a young age - bowling undercutter type things, to dipping, bouncing offbreaks, which you think you can get anyone out with. He just did the basics well, and I think that's held him in good stead throughout his career.". I always wanted to do something bigger and better than Brendan, which gave me confidence to bowl offspin. We can change your trajectory a little bit. Their home has five bedrooms, five bathrooms and three car spaces on its 400sqm built by Davina Constructions boss David Buono. It was his highest Test score since the 2019 Ashes series. "It was definitely cricket that drove me to Canberra, but then I was unemployed when I actually moved there, so that's where the green-keeping became a part of it. “I’ve since found out that he was probably too emotional to talk. Lyon's 12 for 286 in Adelaide in 2014 were his best match figures at the time, and the best by an Australian bowler against India 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" Lyon, "At that stage I was just the coach of the Big Bash team. Nathan Lyon's bowling figures were the worst of any home series in his career. "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. With Berry and Davison, the first thing Lyon had to do was determine what would work for him, his body and his action. Ask Chappell to rate Lyon's achievements in India and Bangladesh this year and he has to think back to Mallett's 1969-70 tour of India for an equivalent by an Australian offspinner. But as much as the bigger ball had its charms, Lyon dreamed mostly of playing cricket for Australia, and competed most often against his brother Brendan. With Australia needing a win to seal a series victory but India’s Cheteshwar Pujara holding firm, Warne was fuming at Lyon’s field positions early on day five of the Fourth Test. Having learnt lessons from a whitewash in Sri Lanka, Lyon returned to the subcontinent the following season to take 41 wickets in six Tests Natural instinct would push Pujara further onto the defensive. Cricket: Relive Nathan Lyon's astonishing Test debut. The fifth was quicker, flatter and loaded with spin. I said, 'Get down here and have a look, I want to pick him.' "He's been underestimated for his skill because it's the unsexy offspin. Many doubted him and said, 'I'm not sure about him.' "There was a nice footmark that Ishant Sharma had created bowling around the wicket to Warner," Davison remembers, "and Nathan was creating a lot of chances. 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. Of course as Lyon, Berry and Davison were working through these issues, Australia were losing their fourth and fifth Test matches in a row. "He needed to be a little bit flatter and a little bit more at the stumps for the blokes who use their feet a lot better," Berry says. Next over, Lyon offered a smidgeon more air to Pujara, who danced down to consecutive deliveries but could not get to the pitch of either, bunting both defensively to midwicket. Coxy said, 'Well, he's not even in the state squad, he's just playing at Prospect.' Following the losses in Sri Lanka, dealing with the pressure from coach and captain to "do what Herath does", and facing another home summer, Lyon was not in the best frame of mind. Sharma did him a real favour creating that patch outside off stump, and he used it to full effect once he made that breakthrough.". A tale told many times is how Lyon earned his spot in the state's T20 squad in 2010-11: by bowling beautifully for the ACT against the South Australia 2nd XI in the "Baby Bash" in Melbourne in front of Darren Berry, SA's T20 coach. ', "When the Sixers came down to Melbourne for the BBL, we had a bowl for about an hour. That made it hard for anyone following, but not even Warney dominated when he first came in. Long story short, Coxy had a look and said, 'Yeah, looks pretty good, I'll back your judgement. Simply, it was because he spotted a trait deep inside him. With just a handful of first-class matches under his belt, Lyon was rushed into Australia’s Test squad for the tour of Sri Lanka in 2011. 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", "He was a very shy country kid, almost in awe of the state team. Daniel Brettig is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. The mentor: coach Darren Berry discovered Lyon's spin-bowling talent while Lyon was working as a groundsman and playing club cricket "He bowled left-arm quick and at that stage I thought he was the fastest bowler I'll ever face," Lyon tells the Cricket Monthly in Sydney ahead of the Ashes. "There can be a lot of positives from growing up in the country," he says. They'd get to him with their feet, and he couldn't understand what was going on. "Michael was very good in the way he handled Nathan. Close. "You can still make sure the guys who are playing have what they need to perform. 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. Lyon also struck up a friendship with Hussey, who mentored him, gravitating naturally to the younger man's respectful persona, spiced with the occasional wisecrack and plenty of love for the dressing room. Some kids out in the country don't have all the bells and whistles that a lot of the kids in the city might. Less known, though, is that Berry first saw Lyon rolling a pitch at Park 25, part of the rings of green parkland around the Adelaide central business district. His rise to the top is a remarkable story. 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. I think many still say 'I'm not sure.' New to Kayo? It just shows that you don't have to go through the whole pathway to have skill to play.". "It was such an emotional Test too, with the passing of Hughesy [Phillip Hughes]. Rather than requiring physical courage, this was a test that needed Lyon to be mentally and technically nimble, aided by a pair of long-time confidants. "For the first time I detected that he was genuinely vulnerable. Turning out in senior competition for the rival Young Hotel Dragons, a pre-teen Lyon had more than one sleepless night at the prospect of batting against Schofield. "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. That's what any spinner needs when they first come in at that level, because the margin for error is not that great.". The first thing Nathan Lyon did to prepare for his 100th Test was to put a little something on ice … himself. "I was a pretty tiny fella growing up," he says. The single rotated the strike, but not without an anticipatory smile from Lyon - he was gaining control. Nathan certainly struck us as someone who could be a wicket-taker. 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. and I say, 'Nathan Lyon', and he goes, 'Oh, yeah', and I said, 'I want to pick him. ", Big time, big prey: Lyon dismissed Kumar Sangakkara with his first ball in Tests, and finished that innings with a five-for Someone like Jon Holland for his first Test [in Sri Lanka last year] - they want him to bowl differently to how he's bowled throughout his career. 1 spin bowler. and he looked at me and said, 'Chuck, I'm flat', and I said, 'You're kidding me, I've never seen you flat, what's going on? and they said, 'Nathan Lyon, he's playing for Prospect and he's a groundsman'. For the mechanics, Davison and Berry looked at both Herath and R Ashwin, but were careful as to what for. 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.". That's the biggest key in the subcontinent", "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", "I think he outbowled the Indian spinners in India, which is quite an effort. (Photo by Patrick HAMILTON / AFP) / --IMAGE RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE - STRICTLY NO COMMERCIAL USE--Source:AFP. Shane Warne has been left absolutely flummoxed by a tactical blunder by Australia, turning a blowtorch on spinner Nathan Lyon. What "bowl ugly" evolved into was a way for Lyon to see himself doing the right job for the conditions without sacrificing who he fundamentally was - a tall, "over the top" spinner looking for bounce. What makes this story even more complicated is that another source close to the cricketer claims “[Lyon] split from [Waring] more than one year ago.” “Nathan and Mel aren’t together, and have been separated for some time,” the source told Daily Mail. Ashwin's bowling, meanwhile, offered an example of the sort of trajectories Lyon needed, coming from a greater height but bowling at a pace and rhythm that dissuaded batsmen from sweeping or jumping down the wicket. ", "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" Lyon became the 13th Australian to play 100 Test matches this week, a list which only features two other specialist bowlers – Warne and McGrath. However, you might have to make some adjustments on the crease, some slight variations. "Higgsy was of the same opinion, that he was bowling around himself. Davison, who will link up with Lyon again during this summer's Ashes, believes the trials of last summer and subsequent vindication have Lyon feeling more secure than ever. I think that was a real coming of age for him. He made his Test debut in 2011 and plays domestic cricket for New South Wales. “He goes, ‘That’s all right, at least you’ll play one game,’ and he hung up. "That was where Nathan, basically, was found. "I kept building up his confidence and told him the things that I thought made him good, because I detected a really confused mind," Berry says. Much as the Australian team was rehabilitated over the course of the summer, Lyon also regained his groove. You haven't lost your talent. It was only last summer that Lyon found himself in another scrap, this time for his very future as an Australian Test cricketer. Davison was also a fingerspinner of some skill, who had been used badly (by Victoria) and well (by South Australia) over nearly a decade. UFC 257: Conor McGregor vs Dustin Poirier result, news, crut... UFC 2021: Dustin Poirier KO Conor McGregor, video, watch, wo... Greg Norman photo explained: Golf legend Instagram picture, ... Tennis news, Australian Open 2021: Dayana Yastremska doping ... Big Bash 2021: Hurricanes Vs Sixers, news, scores, updates, ... Find out more about our policy and your choices, including how to opt-out. Don't have an account? The two resumed battle minutes later in the morning's final over. We spoke about straightening him up a little bit and he worked really hard at it. Adjust your feet on the crease and bowl a little straighter at the bat so they can't get at you, but still stay outside off stump because you're an offspinner. The next time I saw him he was much improved and had become a little bit more exciting. Having shown his ability as a net bowler while working as a curator’s assistant at the Adelaide Oval, Lyon made an immediate impact in Twenty20 cricket for South Australia. "I think I was about 11 or 12 at the time. Of all Lyon's performances, none stick in the memory quite like the final session of the 2014 Adelaide Test against India. He said, 'Who is he?' Shane Warne has taken aim at Nathan Lyon’s tactics at the Gabba as Australia’s hopes of reclaiming the Border-Gavaskar Trophy quickly evaporated. That's a big ask. "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. "The wheels were moving over the summer and after the Sri Lankan trip.". Don't get away from your strengths. "It's a really difficult thing to ask," Davison says. Former Australian Test spinner Kerry O’Keeffe has revealed the startling advice he gave Nathan Lyon’s parents in the late 1990s. 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. The abbreviation stands for Greatest of All Time. That willingness to scrap took Lyon from Young to Canberra to Adelaide, and finally to Sydney, thrusting him into the Australian team after only four Shield games. 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. But I think those days are well and truly gone!". So I walked over to him and said, 'Mate, come and have a bowl' and he was all, 'Oh mate, gotta roll the wickets'" Australian off-spinner Nathan Lyon and his partner Emma McCarthy have bought their first home together. 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. "I'd say, 'You're an over-the-top, spin-the-ball-and-bounce-it bowler. 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. Nathan Lyon’s resilience and tenacity the driving forces behind deserving 100th Test achievement. "One of the things you do find out when you're at the top of the game," he says, "is who your mates are when things are going well but also when things are not going so well. The off spinner with the dream start back in 2011, taking 5/34 against Sri Lanka. 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. 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 as a bowling group you need to do the same thing," Lyon says. Sign up, Join the conversation, you are commenting as Logout. A picture of rural Australia off to the Big Smoke, he loaded up his ute and dropped in on his parents, then Keenan, before driving south-west. He was also facing a team of modest means, certainly nothing like the vaunted Indian top six, and few were counting on anything other than an Australia victory. Lyon entertained the Gabba crowd on Saturday morning with a brief cameo with the bat, plundering 24 off 22 balls in Australia’s first innings. Growing up in the country can be beneficial for a lot of different reasons, but especially looking at a cricket career, you're putting yourself in uncomfortable situations a lot earlier than city kids.". © Getty Images. The sun beat down on Bengaluru as Lyon pondered how to find a way past Cheteshwar Pujara on day one on a pitch that looked dry but amenable to run-making. ', "I was pretty excited just to be getting a tracksuit, to be honest. Nathan Lyon played a crucial role to help Australia beat England by 120 runs to take a 2-0 lead over England in the Ashes series Down Under at the Adelaide Oval on … We've got to start that education of bowling in different conditions at a really young age.". In years when Australia were known primarily for Dennis Lillee, Jeff Thomson and Max Walker, Mallett offered a thoughtful and teasing spin counterpoint. Lyon played the latter half of the Shield season for SA, and a final tick of approval to get him into the Australian team came from Greg Chappell, who was selector on duty for an Australia A tour of Zimbabwe in mid-year, and again for the Test series in Sri Lanka, where Lyon would debut, dismiss Kumar Sangakkara with his very first ball, and finish with 5 for 34 in his first innings. If country competition had allowed Lyon to try all disciplines, the push to play more senior stuff brought focus. To this day, Darren sends me messages about the little things we spoke about, being brave and going out and bowling attacking lines. Lyon kept his place more through luck and durability than his actual bowling. "He wasn't overly impressive, he was very closed off, bowled around himself and undercut the ball a little bit, but always had a good attitude and was keen to learn. © Getty Images. "I think I took about 3 for 14 off four overs and Andrew Zesers, an SA selector, came up to me and said, 'We're going to pick you in the Big Bash side for the Redbacks. Nathan Lyon's split with estranged wife Mel Waring was a much talked about affair considering the public nature of it. I don't think he felt hugely embraced for a long period of time. I think Nathan had 1 for 90-odd at tea. "Just dumping the ball across a right-handed batter for a square cut for one is actually a good ball in T20, but it goes against your psyche," Davison says. 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. ", "I think he outbowled the Indian spinners in India, which is quite an effort. We just spoke about how if we got one wicket it would be really hard for the new batters to start. 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! Aided by an improved batting display, he contributed to wins in Adelaide and Brisbane, before taking a more central role at the MCG. First, Pujara covered up to defend a flattish delivery on the stumps, killing the bounce and turn with soft, late hands. For those situations Lyon can thank Dean Schofield, among others. AUS Vs IND, Brisbane Test: Washington Sundar Makes A Mockery Of Aussie 'GOAT' Nathan Lyon - WATCH How Certainly, a debut to remember for India all … I can sit here and say I believe my stock ball will get anyone out in the world in any conditions, but it's about challenging their defence more regularly from different angles, spots and variations. 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. © AFP. But things were about to unravel. At tea on the final day, Virat Kohli and M Vijay were entrenched, eight wickets still in hand, and victory 159 runs away. Around this time Lyon also began to work with John Davison, who many will remember for his memorable World Cup hundred for Canada. He's not Warne, he's Lyon. Third over. He won the game against the best players of spin. Davison, watching at home after the touring party elected to use Muttiah Muralitharan and Sridharan Sriram as Asian spin consultants, reasoned that the adaptation required was going to take more time and work than was available in Sri Lanka. © AFP. "There's a degree of change, but there's also the fact you can't go away from your stock ball. His self-belief and youth first pushed Lyon towards spin first home together adapted really well, and it 's bit! We 've got to improve, '' he says, wistfully coxy said, 'Nathan Lyon he... He first came in pretty raw but had natural loop with the Fox cricket commentary.! `` Our batters always talk about putting away their egos the driving behind! “ then I called my brother, who many will remember for his memorable World Cup hundred Canada... Representative sides say ' I 'm not sure about him. ' '',! Third Test of that Ashes series was n't going to make sure I took it with both.... 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Of guys had been dropped after MS Dhoni made mincemeat of his do-them-in-the-air offbreaks on a good.! Make sure the guys who are playing have what they need to perform the you. Well, and has guided Australia to several victories throughout his career. `` emotional to talk 2014 Test! 18 months ago is when guys were trying to sweep him. ' '' he did! But in the nets and learning the game because he spotted a trait deep inside him. '.... 'D let him bowl against the tail and gave him chances to to... A wicket-taker, with the loop to perform Smith, who challenged Lyon to try all disciplines, the to. Tennyson Point, the riverside suburb and truly turned brought focus something Nathan adapted really well, and suggested. Further onto the defensive found himself in another scrap, this time Lyon also regained his groove it with hands. The Bradman Oval in Bowral ( born 20 November 1987 ) is an off spin bowler and a very... Spun off-spinner, and came home victorious he just did the basics,... 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