New Zealand v Australia, 2nd Test, Christchurch, 1st day February 20, 2016

Lyon gets behind Pattinson after costly no-ball


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'Unfortunately no-balls are part of our game' - Lyon

Twice in one innings at the MCG in December, James Pattinson appeared to have dismissed West Indies batsman Carlos Brathwaite, only to have the umpires retrospectively call him for no-balls. Brathwaite scored a fifty, but Pattinson's errors did not prove too costly in the match. His latest transgression cost far more runs, and could yet be a significant moment in determining the outcome of this Test.

Brendon McCullum was on 39 when he cut hard at Pattinson and was brilliantly caught by Mitchell Marsh at gully, but umpire Richard Kettleborough told McCullum to wait while the no-ball was checked. Replays confirmed Pattinson had failed to get his heel behind the crease, McCullum went on to break the record for the fastest Test hundred and finished with 145, and New Zealand posted 370 on a pitch that should have helped the fast bowlers.

"No-balls are a part of the game, we all know that," Australian spinner Nathan Lyon said. "I know it's easy for you guys to sit here and say get your foot behind the front line, but you've got to play in front of a full crowd, there's a lot of adrenaline going. James Pattinson was just trying to do his best for his country. We're going to be right behind James and he has got a big role to do for us in the second innings."

The reprieve for McCullum was the stroke of luck that New Zealand seemed due after they were wrongly denied the wicket of Adam Voges on the first day in Wellington, when he was bowled by a Doug Bracewell no-ball that should not have been called. It took Australia more than 15 overs after that to break the partnership between McCullum and Corey Anderson - and those overs cost more than 150 runs.

"I don't think our heads dropped, I think a lot of momentum swung their way," Lyon said. "And credit to Corey and Brendon, they ran with it. They played a lot of shots and as I keep saying, they rode their luck - both of them. But as I said before, I think we actually toiled quite hard and stuck with it."

One of the more surprising statistics about McCullum's innings was that it was almost entirely against pace bowlers - he crunched 54 from 22 balls off Josh Hazlewood, and punished Marsh with 37 off 18, while also scoring freely against Jackson Bird and Pattinson. But McCullum faced only one ball from Lyon, who was not introduced by Steven Smith until the 35th over, when McCullum was already into the 80s.

"When someone is on like that, you want to challenge yourself, especially as a spinner," Lyon said. "You want to challenge yourself against the best strikers in the business. It would have been a great challenge. Unfortunately I didn't get the chance there. He was on today. Hopefully I'll get the chance in the second dig to take his wicket.

"Pretty good striking, pretty amazing striking really. He has been a credit to the game of cricket the way he has conducted himself for New Zealand for a long period of time, so to see him come out there, that was pretty amazing. He rode his luck and that's the way he has played cricket. I'm pretty sure it's the way that he'd want to go down in his career: a person that took the game on."

Brydon Coverdale is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. @brydoncoverdale

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Peter on February 21, 2016, 1:17 GMT

    I'm sorry there is no excuse for continued overstepping. Did he not learn his lesson against the Windies? Brett Lee was another who was equally frustrating. When all our pace bowlers are on deck, we won't have that problem as he won't be in the team. Come on Craig Mc, what do we have to do to clean this up? Have a look at the Kiwi innings to date, no extras!

  •   Ezekiel Zweck on February 20, 2016, 21:57 GMT

    So typical of Lyon to back Pattinson even though he's a serial offender.

    What a dopey bowler! How unprofessional to keep missing wickets because he's not smart enough to keep his foot behind the line. I know I'm not in his league, but I was an opening bowler for years and I think I was called for no balls a total of 3 times - it's really not all that hard to keep your foot behind the line. Do it at practise and you'll do it in the game. Too many of them go way over the line at practise, which never made sense to me as it makes you feel that you're faster and better than what you really are. How different would the day have been if he'd been a bit smarter?

    If Lyon is blaming adrenaline and playing in front of a big crowd for Pattinson's repeated unprofessionalism, then maybe he's just not up to the task at hand and he should be dropped. That's what should happen anyway until he's able to fix his problem.

  • Justin on February 20, 2016, 17:40 GMT

    A comment I would expect from a teammate with a 2nd innings to be bowled. I would hope the coach, bowling coach etc would be much more forthright i.e. "he is a professional, this is unacceptable"

  • roger on February 20, 2016, 16:51 GMT

    At least "no ball" declared as no ball. But , for opposite teams legal deliveries are called as "no ball". No articles / open l;letters on those issues. Just true "no ball" branded as bad luck and deserved an article. What can we call this???? leaving to public ( if get published )

  • Aubline on February 20, 2016, 14:02 GMT

    @Ronnie22 - It's a fair point but irrelevant to the Pattinson no ball. It wasn't called, therefore McCullum had no opportunity to change his shot.

  • Jose on February 20, 2016, 13:58 GMT

    There are THREE techniques to correct this 'no-ball' problem.

    1, Practice 2. Practice, and 3. Peactice.

    Steve Finn corrected his tendency to knockdown the non-striker's wickets just before his delivery stride. A bit of 'reverse incentivisation' from the changed rules gave a helping hand, though.

    Ishant had this no ball issue, as a perennial problem for a long time. He seems to have corrected it, quite a bit, though occasional relapses are happening.

    There are many more. These two came to my mind immediately.

  • Jeremy on February 20, 2016, 13:18 GMT

    It amazes me that people do not seem to appreciate that if a bowler bowls a no ball the resulting ball bowled and consequent shot by the batsman will obviously probably be totally different from those if he did not bowl a no ball. It's not an issue of "wasting a wicket" - it probably would not have been a wicket otherwise. In other terms it's a prime example of the "butterfly effect". You can try blaming the system for the review but the bowler ? That's nonsense.

  • Xiong on February 20, 2016, 12:48 GMT

    @codedsteve I doubt it. I mean, if you look at a map New Zealand is barely further away from mainland Australia than Tasmania, and Tasmania is part of Australia right? Just like how India and Pakistan are right next to each other so they're basically the same country. It's only logical.

  • SIva on February 20, 2016, 12:29 GMT

    I don't like this from Lyon "I know it's easy for you guys to sit here and say get your foot behind the front line, but you've got to play in front of a full crowd" as a manager of my son's junior cricket team I know what our coach teaches players. Where is basic thing in bowling. You are a paid professional to play in front large crowd not in the backyard.

  • Will on February 20, 2016, 11:46 GMT

    Pattinson? Isn't he an Englishman? Are Australia calling up more overseas players? Maybe he was a refugee?

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