The Ashes 2013-14 November 15, 2013

Australia spin coach to travel for Ashes

  shares 55

Australian cricket's hierarchy has finally responded to calls for spin bowlers to be afforded specialist guidance during the Test summer, with the National Cricket Centre spin coach John Davison expected to be on hand at training before four out of five Ashes matches.

Noted for his close relationship with the nation's leading spinner Nathan Lyon, Davison is based in Brisbane and will be present in the nets at the Gabba before the first Test. ESPNcricinfo understands he has also been cleared by Cricket Australia to travel to Adelaide, Melbourne and Sydney before the second, fourth and fifth matches of the series, missing only the Perth Test at the WACA ground.

Davison's presence is expected to be a major encouragement to Lyon, who has developed a strong bond with the former Victoria, South Australia and Canada offspinner, and was delighted by the results of their work together on the Australia A tour that preceded the previous Ashes bout in England earlier this year.

"In international cricket there are a lot of people with a lot of different opinions and that's something I've learned," Lyon said in England earlier this year. "You have to figure out things for yourself, take on advice, and you might pick up something from someone who may not have played the game at the highest level. John Davison's been fantastic for me, I've worked with him really well and I've got a lot of trust in Davo."

The lack of a specialist spin-bowling coach on the road with the national team has been one of the major gaps in the support staff structure put in place following the Argus review in 2011. Davison has travelled only occasionally with the team, otherwise leaving Lyon and others to their own devices. By contrast the England spin coach Mushtaq Ahmed has been present on each of the past two Ashes tours.

CA had sought to improve the support available to Lyon by asking the fielding coach and former Test wicketkeeper Steve Rixon to also be responsible for the slow bowlers in the team, a dual position he assumed in November 2012 ahead of the home Tests against South Africa.

However the matter of Lyon's role in the team was the source of considerable debate over the summer, as he appeared to take on a defensive commission, bowling his overs quickly and accumulating maidens while the fast bowlers rested. It was a thankless task. Lyon was dropped after one Test in India for the more limited Xavier Doherty then reinstated, taking nine wickets in the final match at Dehli.

He then worked closely with Davison in England and felt he was bowling as well as ever, before again losing his place, this time to the left-arm wunderkind Ashton Agar, for the start of the Ashes series at Trent Bridge and Lord's. Recalled for the Old Trafford Test, Lyon bowled encouragingly in the remaining matches, and has been named in the squad for the Brisbane Test, where Davison will be present.

In between tours Lyon moved from South Australia to New South Wales, his state of origin, and has bowled well for the Blues in limited-overs and Sheffield Shield matches so far this summer without snaring a huge haul of wickets.

Daniel Brettig is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. He tweets here

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • POSTED BY kensohatter on | November 15, 2013, 7:16 GMT

    Finally! Australia should have had a specialist spinner coach after Warne retired because that transition was always going to be tough. Lyon is the last in a flurry of experimental spinner many of whom were just not given enough time to develop. The treatment of some (Krejza springs to mind here) was just not fair. Even Beer, Doherty and Cullen can feel a little hard done by. Im not sure why O'Keefe was never given a chance given he was the best spinner in the counrty for a long while and we tried everyone else. I reckon we need to now stick with Lyon and develop Agar and Fawad. An specialist spin coach should help that

  • POSTED BY Mitty2 on | November 20, 2013, 0:44 GMT

    The most important thing to note about SOK is that he doesn't turn it that much, bowls darts and most importantly, rarely plays the first spinner for NSW. I'd go on to say that most of his wickets are from batsmen's mistakes and the pressure built up from the other bowlers. Lyon is a far more attacking bowler than O'Keefe and will certainly end up as a far more successful bowler. If SOK played tests it would be a better result than Doherty, but not by much. You see turning it is kind of necessary in test cricket.

  • POSTED BY TomPrice on | November 19, 2013, 1:08 GMT

    On the other hand, there is every chance Lyon will get dropped in favour of the next person named Ashton who happens along, and not get picked ever again, or not regularly.

    If Lyon was a wicket taker Australia would play him in a 4 man attack.

  • POSTED BY Shaggy076 on | November 18, 2013, 22:38 GMT

    cricketsubh; That is a ridiculous comment, I would say Anderson, Broad and the rest are way better bowlers than Saker ever was. But being better does not make you a better coach.

  • POSTED BY Shaggy076 on | November 18, 2013, 22:36 GMT

    At Lyon's age Swann was still around 4 years shy of playing test cricket. Think everyone is being a bit harsh. He averages in the low 30's and at times is employed to do the holding role which he does well. With the improvement he has shown there is every chance come the end of there careers he could have better stats than Swann. Also, Australia is a hard place to bowl spin but you need one as its hard to get through a 90 over day with an all out pace attack, just look at Swanns figures on the last tour in a dominant 3-1 win (from memory it was early 40's)

  • POSTED BY Front-Foot-Sponge on | November 18, 2013, 13:48 GMT

    @xtrafalgarx, good points man.

  • POSTED BY on | November 18, 2013, 12:23 GMT

    This is the weirdest thing I have heard for The Ashes build up. (John Davison - Spin Coach). The last was Mickey Arthur's "HOMEWORK" controversy during the India tour....Hope the Aussies do well & win the Ashes...Love them to win!!! No offense to Mr. Davison as he is the National Cricket Centre spin coach... must be a joke!!!

  • POSTED BY RonchiefBSB on | November 18, 2013, 0:56 GMT

    Swann's figures in the last Ashes series were greatly boosted by his haul at Lords where many of his wickets were a result of mindless slogging by the aus batsmen. At the end of the day, when both Lyon and Swann were playing (tests 3-5) Lyon was getting more revolutions on the ball, more turn, and was clearly the more dangerous bowler. This was reflected in the fact that he had a better average than Swann in those tests, despite being robbed of the chance to bowl on the 5th day at Old Trafford. Swann was virtually ineffective against Australia's right hand batsmen.

    Swann is at the twilight of his career, Lyon potentially has a ten year career ahead of him. There is every chance Lyon will finish with more test wickets than Swann at a better average.

  • POSTED BY OneEyedAussie on | November 17, 2013, 22:35 GMT

    Here is my question for Inverarity and co.: if you had a guy playing domestic cricket in Australia with nigh on 100 FC wickets at an average better than Shane Warne would you pick him?

  • POSTED BY on | November 17, 2013, 22:28 GMT

    @xtrafalgarx

    Fair enough! I just couldn't resist!

    After all, Troy Cooley and David Saker are hardly household names, but have had great success coaching bowlers.

    It just seemed too great an opportunity not to have a crack!

  • POSTED BY kensohatter on | November 15, 2013, 7:16 GMT

    Finally! Australia should have had a specialist spinner coach after Warne retired because that transition was always going to be tough. Lyon is the last in a flurry of experimental spinner many of whom were just not given enough time to develop. The treatment of some (Krejza springs to mind here) was just not fair. Even Beer, Doherty and Cullen can feel a little hard done by. Im not sure why O'Keefe was never given a chance given he was the best spinner in the counrty for a long while and we tried everyone else. I reckon we need to now stick with Lyon and develop Agar and Fawad. An specialist spin coach should help that

  • POSTED BY Mitty2 on | November 20, 2013, 0:44 GMT

    The most important thing to note about SOK is that he doesn't turn it that much, bowls darts and most importantly, rarely plays the first spinner for NSW. I'd go on to say that most of his wickets are from batsmen's mistakes and the pressure built up from the other bowlers. Lyon is a far more attacking bowler than O'Keefe and will certainly end up as a far more successful bowler. If SOK played tests it would be a better result than Doherty, but not by much. You see turning it is kind of necessary in test cricket.

  • POSTED BY TomPrice on | November 19, 2013, 1:08 GMT

    On the other hand, there is every chance Lyon will get dropped in favour of the next person named Ashton who happens along, and not get picked ever again, or not regularly.

    If Lyon was a wicket taker Australia would play him in a 4 man attack.

  • POSTED BY Shaggy076 on | November 18, 2013, 22:38 GMT

    cricketsubh; That is a ridiculous comment, I would say Anderson, Broad and the rest are way better bowlers than Saker ever was. But being better does not make you a better coach.

  • POSTED BY Shaggy076 on | November 18, 2013, 22:36 GMT

    At Lyon's age Swann was still around 4 years shy of playing test cricket. Think everyone is being a bit harsh. He averages in the low 30's and at times is employed to do the holding role which he does well. With the improvement he has shown there is every chance come the end of there careers he could have better stats than Swann. Also, Australia is a hard place to bowl spin but you need one as its hard to get through a 90 over day with an all out pace attack, just look at Swanns figures on the last tour in a dominant 3-1 win (from memory it was early 40's)

  • POSTED BY Front-Foot-Sponge on | November 18, 2013, 13:48 GMT

    @xtrafalgarx, good points man.

  • POSTED BY on | November 18, 2013, 12:23 GMT

    This is the weirdest thing I have heard for The Ashes build up. (John Davison - Spin Coach). The last was Mickey Arthur's "HOMEWORK" controversy during the India tour....Hope the Aussies do well & win the Ashes...Love them to win!!! No offense to Mr. Davison as he is the National Cricket Centre spin coach... must be a joke!!!

  • POSTED BY RonchiefBSB on | November 18, 2013, 0:56 GMT

    Swann's figures in the last Ashes series were greatly boosted by his haul at Lords where many of his wickets were a result of mindless slogging by the aus batsmen. At the end of the day, when both Lyon and Swann were playing (tests 3-5) Lyon was getting more revolutions on the ball, more turn, and was clearly the more dangerous bowler. This was reflected in the fact that he had a better average than Swann in those tests, despite being robbed of the chance to bowl on the 5th day at Old Trafford. Swann was virtually ineffective against Australia's right hand batsmen.

    Swann is at the twilight of his career, Lyon potentially has a ten year career ahead of him. There is every chance Lyon will finish with more test wickets than Swann at a better average.

  • POSTED BY OneEyedAussie on | November 17, 2013, 22:35 GMT

    Here is my question for Inverarity and co.: if you had a guy playing domestic cricket in Australia with nigh on 100 FC wickets at an average better than Shane Warne would you pick him?

  • POSTED BY on | November 17, 2013, 22:28 GMT

    @xtrafalgarx

    Fair enough! I just couldn't resist!

    After all, Troy Cooley and David Saker are hardly household names, but have had great success coaching bowlers.

    It just seemed too great an opportunity not to have a crack!

  • POSTED BY TomPrice on | November 17, 2013, 13:42 GMT

    @xtrafalgarx It's true, Australia do seem to have a policy of chucking spinners in at the deep end long before they are ready.

  • POSTED BY goodhoot on | November 17, 2013, 11:33 GMT

    I'll be interested to see if Clarke can slide Steve Smith in for a few overs in this coming test.I know he does'nt turn it much but he could get some handy bounce on the Gabba,depending of course on pitch conditions etc.Given English dislike of leggies hmmm

  • POSTED BY xtrafalgarx on | November 17, 2013, 11:01 GMT

    @Jack Robinson: Hahaha, funny read. But as Lyon says:

    "In international cricket there are a lot of people with a lot of different opinions and that's something I've learned, you have to figure out things for yourself, take on advice, and you might pick up something from someone who may not have played the game at the highest level. John Davison's been fantastic for me, I've worked with him really well and I've got a lot of trust in Davo."

    He may not be a Warne but maybe he can articulate his ideas better? Some greats don't understand what it's like to learn and understand something because they have had it all their lives. Anyway, i like it, shows how humble and a good guy Nathan Lyon is, top bloke, he will take many wickets for Australia.

  • POSTED BY xtrafalgarx on | November 17, 2013, 10:39 GMT

    @2mikegattings, he could have had one if wade didn't drop a catch in India =(. But remember, Swann is nearly 10 years Lyon's senior, and at his age, Swann was no where near test cricket!

  • POSTED BY 2MikeGattings on | November 17, 2013, 5:12 GMT

    Way to ignore Swanny's 10-fer. Lyon has how many 10-fers in any form of cricket? :D

  • POSTED BY Eight8 on | November 17, 2013, 2:20 GMT

    @Steve Back: Front Foot Lunge needs A Hug is correct. Swann had better figures for his 5 matches, but for the 3 they both played together (last 3 of the series), Lyon's average was superior. Swann's overall figures were inflated by the spin friendly first 2 matches, but in terms of comparison you can only compare the matches both players were in...and Lyon's average was better.

  • POSTED BY on | November 16, 2013, 22:51 GMT

    Great to see Australia is using the internationally renowned and respected spinner, John Davison, as it's spinning coach!

    Whenever a group gets to talking about great spinners of years gone by, his name is always the first mentioned. His famous loop and drop. He could turn it sideways on glass!

    He was a match winner, and there really should be a statue of him outside every cricket ground in Australia, such is his profound influence on the game here.

    Hopefully he passes on EVERYTHING he knows about quality spin bowling at the Test level to Nathan Lyon, who will surely go on to be the biggest thing in Aussie cricket since the truly legendary JOHN DAVISON!!!!!!!!

    John Davison. Women wanted him. Men wanted to BE him.

    Ohhhhh CANADA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Eh?

  • POSTED BY on | November 16, 2013, 13:44 GMT

    @Front-Foot-Lunge-Needs-A-Hug: "As far as people knocking Lyon, he easily outperformed Swann in the last series."

    Umm, you have checked the series statistics for the last series, haven't you? It's quite easy, just google "Ashes 2013 in England" and select "Tour Stats" from the cricinfo toolbar. Hope that helps.

  • POSTED BY Front-Foot-Lunge-Needs-A-Hug on | November 16, 2013, 9:42 GMT

    @Warren Smith, you are right. Not all but many of the English fans love looking down at their opposition but I suppose it is because it is a Halley's Comet type opportunity because of their long and painful history of being completely dominated and humiliated As far as people knocking Lyon, he easily outperformed Swann in the last series. I don't think Australia will play him too often, the pace attack will make light work of the English batsman who look like they are here for a holiday rather than the drubbing they will get lol! I can't see how England will win a match with only two bowlers?

  • POSTED BY nomanpakistani on | November 16, 2013, 6:00 GMT

    Best of luck team Australia For Ashes You Will Win This Time.i think Bally Will be in Playing Eleven

  • POSTED BY cricketsubh on | November 16, 2013, 3:29 GMT

    lyon is a batter spiner then davison why davison he is a batsmen not a spinner how can he coach lyon .

  • POSTED BY Big_Maxy_Walker on | November 16, 2013, 2:40 GMT

    O'Keefe in the current shield game showing who the best spinner in Australia is. Now has an average under 26 with nearly 100 first class wickets. Compared to Lyon averaging over 38 with about the same number of wickets per game. Lyon has the test experience, so they stay with him for this Ashes series, but O'Keefe has to play in Sydney and ODIs from now on. O'Keefe still isn't 30

  • POSTED BY Eight8 on | November 16, 2013, 1:24 GMT

    Lyon actually had a better average than Swann for the 3 tests they both played during the last Ashes series in England.

    How did Swann go on is first India tour? Got carted. How did eg go last time in Australia? Got carted despite his team being on top. But he learnt from each experience and is now a quality spinner who demonstrated that in India on his second tour and for the last few years.

    Lyon will only improve as his first class and test experience grows and he bowls in different conditions. As will Agar. Australia has 2 or 3 other spinners with potential as well including Holland who may go alright if he gets a sustained run injury free.

  • POSTED BY Marcio on | November 16, 2013, 1:14 GMT

    @ izzidole, Lyon massively outperformed Tahir, the SA spinner in that series, who was absolutely humiliated by the Australian batsmen. SA won the series with no decent spinner, and that is something that has not changed. Anyway, spinners are irrelevant in SA, so green are the wickets over there these days (take a look at the youtube video of Steyne taking 6-8 vs PAK. It looks like it is being played on a lawn bowls green).

  • POSTED BY RednWhiteArmy on | November 16, 2013, 0:38 GMT

    John Davidson, eh? Well, im glad somebody has owned up.

  • POSTED BY SteveSinatra on | November 16, 2013, 0:16 GMT

    Nathan Lyon works and tries hard but is certainly no match winner, and in my humble opinion never will be. We desperately need a leg spinner, and it would be great if Shane Warne would come and coach. Steve Smith has some potential and should be encouraged. Michael Clarke should bring on Steve Smith immediately a new right hand batsman comes to the crease to bowl a few overs at him, instead of just using him as a stopgap with one over before lunch or as a last resort after the batsmen have made 50 or more. As a former leggie the best time to beat a batsmen with flight and leg spin is when they are new at the wicket and not yet fully accustomed to the length, particularly if you bowl into the breeze and can get some drift. Come on Michael Clarke use some surprise and innovation, even with a fairly new ball - you certainly don't need an old worn ball to bowl effective leg spin.

  • POSTED BY on | November 15, 2013, 23:57 GMT

    Really?? Shouldn't this have been afforded years ago .... or at least in August 2013?

    I remember Warnie pointing out technical flaws in Agar's bowling style in England and wondered how he could have made it so far without appropriate correction being made..

  • POSTED BY jb633 on | November 15, 2013, 22:52 GMT

    From the perspective of an English fan/ cricket fan for years now Australia have been treating there spinners terribly. Lyon is a good solid bowler and you know what your going to get with him. Given confidence he can bowl with a nice loop and can deceive the batsmen in the air. His initial struggles in India are typical of a spinner going there for the first time. The guys play spin better than anyone on the planet and many a better spinner than Lyon has struggled there. Like Hauritz before him it seemed that the selectors used the Indian tour as the benchmark of how spinners should bowl (possibly comparing them with the native spinners and tough oppoistion). It is about time the selectors showed some faith in this guy and give him a run, even if he has a few bad outings. They always say that spinners come into their own in their 30's and can go on till they are 40. Lyon has plenty of time to develop.

  • POSTED BY ThatsJustCricket on | November 15, 2013, 22:38 GMT

    This is interesting. I am sure Davison has a wonderful relationship with Leon and what not, but was he best available spin coach in Australia? I thought Davison was more a batsman. Surely, it won't be impossible to get Warne or Macgill to help these young spinners out.

  • POSTED BY 2MikeGattings on | November 15, 2013, 18:36 GMT

    Lyon is the best Australia have got and has been for a while. Is it fair that he got dropped? Yes, because that's what happens in competitive sport. England didn't exactly show faith in Swann, he was dropped for 8 years. His self belief remained intact.

  • POSTED BY on | November 15, 2013, 16:19 GMT

    @158notout. thank you for a decent comment. Its sad to say this - and i dont mean it as a back handed insult either (unlike most of the english comments on here), but you rarely find respectful comments on here by english supporters. Hope we seem more like you. From a South African.

  • POSTED BY xtrafalgarx on | November 15, 2013, 14:27 GMT

    @Izzidole: If Nathan Lyon hasn't set the world alight, then there is no chance in hel O'Keefe will. All that bloke does is fire the ball in (darts) and doesn't get batsmen out the way you would want a spinner to. His wickets are incidental, he doesn't get people out, he just bowls and bowl darts till they get themseves out. He will never win a match for Australia.

  • POSTED BY on | November 15, 2013, 13:40 GMT

    John Davison is my favorite ever non-test playing country batsman. Can someone please tell me why he is Australia' spin bowling coach !!!?

  • POSTED BY izzidole on | November 15, 2013, 13:13 GMT

    Lyon has had a very good run as the spinner of the Australian cricket team for the last 3years or so and is lucky to be still there despite his poor performances. Although he has been in and out of the team he is still considered as the number one spinner in the country by the national selectors. One reason why the Australian cricket team haven't won many matches in recent times is because we don't have a qulity spinner . A very good example is the third test against South Africa last summer where Lyon failed to get the breakthrough for us to win and clinch the series. If the team was selected strictly on merit then Steve O'Keefe would be the obvious choice. While Hauritz with all his knowledge and experience seems to be totally discarded. In the absence of a quality spinner we just cannot expect to win matches and the selectors should seriously think about other options. While Ahmed has a long way to go I still reckon O'Keefe is the best spinner in the country and should be selected.

  • POSTED BY popcorn on | November 15, 2013, 11:50 GMT

    This is fabulous news! I have often wondered why Cricket Australia could never recruit Shane Warne - the best spinner in the world. Did he say no? He talks about everything and everybody else under the cricketing sun,except put his hand up to coach budding spinners. Why not have Stuart Macgill on the Coaching Staff? I wish Terry Jenner and Peter Phillpott could have coached. The whole cricketing world knows we lack good trained spinners.

  • POSTED BY 158notout on | November 15, 2013, 11:39 GMT

    I am English but I am a cricket fan first and foremost. This is a very positive step from CA. Nathan Lyon has been treated really quite poorly so far in his career so much so that many players may have thrown their toys out if they had received the same. Playing well, but not setting the world alight by any means, nevertheless he has now been dropped on the past two tours, once for the combined attack of Doherty and Maxwell and then for Agar. Hope for this series they put their faith in him and stick with him (only acceptable exception being if they go all-pace at the WACA, which looks extremely likely given Davison is not going there).

    There are a couple of other players who have had limited chances taken away from them by selectors recently and have not been fortunate enough to get back in - Ed Cowan being another Aussie and then Onions and Compton for England for instance. Out of those Onions is the one with most to rue, and like Lyon he has taken it all on the chin.

  • POSTED BY xtrafalgarx on | November 15, 2013, 11:00 GMT

    @Millhouse79: Unfortunately, the attitudes towards coaches in Australia is very bad. The general mantra is "work it out for yourself" as you would hear from guys like Ian Chappell. Evidently, the guys haven't been able to work it out for themselves and are struggling, but there is still a general negativity towards coaches, they don't even get payed lots so we have a long way to go on that front.

  • POSTED BY Jaffa79 on | November 15, 2013, 10:28 GMT

    When the Aussies were dominant from the early 90s until the mid 2000s, it was clear they had an abundance of talent but also were at the forefront of sports coaching and development. I know everyone has caught up but is it just me but have they really dropped off? The fact there is no spinning coach is a joke! The board are rich enough so why not? This is an area that Australai have really struggled post Warne so why not get someone in to help? There is a lot of time on tour to practice! When they did, they got in a wicket keeper! Laughable really. In addition to this, the backroom staff can't get their bowlers on the park and their batting techniques are shot to pieces. I am not saying the Aussies would be world beaters as they clearly don't have the players but they'd be better surely? You can see it in other sports as well, as Australian sport in general has taken a well documented nose dive.

  • POSTED BY on | November 15, 2013, 10:02 GMT

    Was John Davison the best off-spin coach Australia could get?

  • POSTED BY Eight8 on | November 15, 2013, 9:51 GMT

    @Front-Foot-Lunge: not your worst post by any stretch, but typically incorrect and unresearched as usual.

    Don't think any Aussie has ever referred to any of those you listed as being the "next top spinner in the world." In fact most were recognised as extremely limited by Australians, who, unlike you, actually live their lives with logic.

    Nathan Lyon has been probably recognised as the one with most potential, and as many others have tried to point out to you, if you would take off your England propaganda glasses, has performed extremely well for a guy with only 25 tests in a stop start career with only 6 or so first class games under his belt before making his debut.

    Relative to other spinners (including Swann) he is tracking very well for this stage of his career and will only get better with experience. And this is a guy who bowls 50% of his games on Aussie pitches known the world over as off spinner graveyards.

  • POSTED BY milepost on | November 15, 2013, 9:45 GMT

    I just think it's pretty obvious that CA have set up some nice games on placid wickets, that Australia (arguably of course so as not to upset anyone) has a better pace line up and that we will see some juicy pitches. If there is bounce I guess you can argue that suits spinners especially if they use flight well but there won't be spin on a raging green-top. I hope we do have juicy pitches, it is boring watching teams canter to 500+ scores on roads. Give the bowlers something juicy to work with!

  • POSTED BY xtrafalgarx on | November 15, 2013, 9:21 GMT

    I like Nathan Lyon. Humble and works hard, isn't fussy, fancy or pretentious but just does the job and backs himself. Common foot soldier, wonderful guy too.

  • POSTED BY R_U_4_REAL_NICK on | November 15, 2013, 9:09 GMT

    Now wouldn't you think Warne would do something about it, instead of lambasting current players and stirring up past dirt...

  • POSTED BY milepost on | November 15, 2013, 9:02 GMT

    Damn it I almost have to agree with @FFL! I don't think Lyon is a bad spinner but even good spinners get carted at test level. It's a tough discipline and hats off Swann is great. Whether he prospers on this tour, who knows. @Oldpunk I think you make some excellent points. I'll back the team we pick but I wouldn't be surprised if Lyon gets left out a bit this series.

  • POSTED BY on | November 15, 2013, 9:01 GMT

    Why Johnson? i think CA recruited him for name sake.. there are so many quality spin coaches... i dont think he is that much good as a spinner

  • POSTED BY Oldpunk on | November 15, 2013, 8:40 GMT

    @Front Foot Lunge - Why would anyone laugh at Lyon? Take a look at his stats. When you consider he has limited first class experience, has been thrown into Test Cricket at the deep end, bowls off-spin on Australian pitches, has been the victim of some strange selections ( Doherty, Agar), then you would have to conclude he is a very good bowler who will improve with experience. If Swann is the benchmark, then statistically Lyon is heading in the right direction.

  • POSTED BY Captain_Tuk_Tuk on | November 15, 2013, 8:34 GMT

    Saqlain Mushtaq would be best spin bowling coach for him as well as other Ausis spinners. We have seen how Shane Shillingford of West Indies have learned quickly from Sqalain in a few weeks camp Ausis can do the same and I am sure Lyon is better than any of the non sub continent bowlers he just need some guidance he is a born talent he will learn quickly, Shillingford is an exception but Lyon is better than Swan or Doherty.

  • POSTED BY reddawn1975 on | November 15, 2013, 8:34 GMT

    I really hope the National selectors are watching the great progress of Zampa and muirhead they are looking great to young Leggies and Steve O'Keefe got to feel for the guy way over due for a shot great player

  • POSTED BY on | November 15, 2013, 8:34 GMT

    Hey FFL; Dont knock Lyon as he is very young, performs quite serviceably and could get a whole lot better. He had the best of KP in the last ashes also. Australia's spin stocks are quite promising with players such as Adam Zampa and Cameron Boyce coming through quite nicely also. I did a little research on England's spin prospects; particularly a young test debutant named Simon kerrigan; at the moment he doesnt have a test strike rate because he got zip all wickets at a rate of 6.62 and was pulled by an untrusting Cook after 8 overs. Wlecome to England's post Swan Era!

  • POSTED BY dunger.bob on | November 15, 2013, 8:34 GMT

    @ FFL : I'm not sure Davo is the man to teach anyone how to turn the ball. I might be doing him an injustice, but I think I remember him as a bit of a straight-break merchant.

    Lyon spins it enough I think. What he needs to learn is the lines and lengths to maximise his chances of getting a wicket with the reasonable spin he does get. The good news for us is that those things can be learned through experience, practice and the input of a good coach. Apparently Davidson is pretty good, so having the coach at the ground on game days could help Lyon out more than you will like. Let's wait and see.

  • POSTED BY Clavers on | November 15, 2013, 8:28 GMT

    Thats a step forward. But they need an offspin coach and a legspin coach because they're two different disciplines. And the best legspin coach in Australia is Malcolm Francke. He should be working with Fawad and Smith.

  • POSTED BY Mitty2 on | November 15, 2013, 8:16 GMT

    @FFL, haha, what happened to calling Lyon a seamer? Disappointed how on the rev counter Lyon was getting it into the red as much, if not more than Swann? Swann was bowling in the high 80km/h and as was Lyon. Lyon is so far ahead than what Swann was at his stage and is being called by some as one of our best off spinners over the last 50 years. What's more is thay if it weren't for a certain Matthew Wade lyon would have the same average, if not better, than Swann's! Lyon had around 6 chances stuffed up by Wade in the summer, and almost as much in India despite Wade only playing 3 tests and Lyon only playing three tests. Interestingly, Haddin actually kept well but I don't thonk lyon played that test.

  • POSTED BY Front-Foot-Lunge on | November 15, 2013, 7:48 GMT

    Australia need a spin coach like a beached whale needs the ocean. Oz have been so far behind teams like England for many years, and one of the many reasons is that England have a world class spinner and Aus have what are essentially medium pacers to fill the spin ranks, so unable have they been to find just one guy who properly turns the ball. And didn't it show in India, where England won that series on the sub-continent. When Australia toured there their best spinner was Henriques. They lost 4-0. This is what happens when there's such a gap between teams. Australia have had an infamous few years of lacking a spinner: Lyon, Hauritz, Beer, Doherty, Mcgain: All these bowlers at one stage were lauded by Oz fans as the next 'top spinner in the world'. I'm still doubled up on the floor laughing at this procession of horrors: Each of Australia's spinners since Warne have lasted less thn 1 Ashes series. No pizes for guessing why!

  • POSTED BY Gurudumu on | November 15, 2013, 7:39 GMT

    I'm of the opinion that Fawad is a much better spinner than Lyon - but the powers that be and the politics dictate that Lyon is preferred. Recall that England suffered Shane warne's bowling! Which spinner closely offers the same bowling? Take your pick.

  • POSTED BY dunger.bob on | November 15, 2013, 7:31 GMT

    Lyons a good steady bowler but I think he's missing that one big weapon. If he could get a googly or something equally tricky he would be a much more threatening bowler.

    Still, he's only a babe in the woods and has a bit of time on his side. He could still develop into something pretty good. .. I'm not much of a stats man, and I'll probably regret saying this, but from what I can see he's holding his own in terms of average and strike rate. They're not exceptional, but they don't exactly stink either.

    Actually, I would have picked Zampa if it had been up to me, so it's probably a good that it's not up to me.

  • POSTED BY dunger.bob on | November 15, 2013, 7:31 GMT

    Lyons a good steady bowler but I think he's missing that one big weapon. If he could get a googly or something equally tricky he would be a much more threatening bowler.

    Still, he's only a babe in the woods and has a bit of time on his side. He could still develop into something pretty good. .. I'm not much of a stats man, and I'll probably regret saying this, but from what I can see he's holding his own in terms of average and strike rate. They're not exceptional, but they don't exactly stink either.

    Actually, I would have picked Zampa if it had been up to me, so it's probably a good that it's not up to me.

  • POSTED BY Gurudumu on | November 15, 2013, 7:39 GMT

    I'm of the opinion that Fawad is a much better spinner than Lyon - but the powers that be and the politics dictate that Lyon is preferred. Recall that England suffered Shane warne's bowling! Which spinner closely offers the same bowling? Take your pick.

  • POSTED BY Front-Foot-Lunge on | November 15, 2013, 7:48 GMT

    Australia need a spin coach like a beached whale needs the ocean. Oz have been so far behind teams like England for many years, and one of the many reasons is that England have a world class spinner and Aus have what are essentially medium pacers to fill the spin ranks, so unable have they been to find just one guy who properly turns the ball. And didn't it show in India, where England won that series on the sub-continent. When Australia toured there their best spinner was Henriques. They lost 4-0. This is what happens when there's such a gap between teams. Australia have had an infamous few years of lacking a spinner: Lyon, Hauritz, Beer, Doherty, Mcgain: All these bowlers at one stage were lauded by Oz fans as the next 'top spinner in the world'. I'm still doubled up on the floor laughing at this procession of horrors: Each of Australia's spinners since Warne have lasted less thn 1 Ashes series. No pizes for guessing why!

  • POSTED BY Mitty2 on | November 15, 2013, 8:16 GMT

    @FFL, haha, what happened to calling Lyon a seamer? Disappointed how on the rev counter Lyon was getting it into the red as much, if not more than Swann? Swann was bowling in the high 80km/h and as was Lyon. Lyon is so far ahead than what Swann was at his stage and is being called by some as one of our best off spinners over the last 50 years. What's more is thay if it weren't for a certain Matthew Wade lyon would have the same average, if not better, than Swann's! Lyon had around 6 chances stuffed up by Wade in the summer, and almost as much in India despite Wade only playing 3 tests and Lyon only playing three tests. Interestingly, Haddin actually kept well but I don't thonk lyon played that test.

  • POSTED BY Clavers on | November 15, 2013, 8:28 GMT

    Thats a step forward. But they need an offspin coach and a legspin coach because they're two different disciplines. And the best legspin coach in Australia is Malcolm Francke. He should be working with Fawad and Smith.

  • POSTED BY dunger.bob on | November 15, 2013, 8:34 GMT

    @ FFL : I'm not sure Davo is the man to teach anyone how to turn the ball. I might be doing him an injustice, but I think I remember him as a bit of a straight-break merchant.

    Lyon spins it enough I think. What he needs to learn is the lines and lengths to maximise his chances of getting a wicket with the reasonable spin he does get. The good news for us is that those things can be learned through experience, practice and the input of a good coach. Apparently Davidson is pretty good, so having the coach at the ground on game days could help Lyon out more than you will like. Let's wait and see.

  • POSTED BY on | November 15, 2013, 8:34 GMT

    Hey FFL; Dont knock Lyon as he is very young, performs quite serviceably and could get a whole lot better. He had the best of KP in the last ashes also. Australia's spin stocks are quite promising with players such as Adam Zampa and Cameron Boyce coming through quite nicely also. I did a little research on England's spin prospects; particularly a young test debutant named Simon kerrigan; at the moment he doesnt have a test strike rate because he got zip all wickets at a rate of 6.62 and was pulled by an untrusting Cook after 8 overs. Wlecome to England's post Swan Era!

  • POSTED BY reddawn1975 on | November 15, 2013, 8:34 GMT

    I really hope the National selectors are watching the great progress of Zampa and muirhead they are looking great to young Leggies and Steve O'Keefe got to feel for the guy way over due for a shot great player

  • POSTED BY Captain_Tuk_Tuk on | November 15, 2013, 8:34 GMT

    Saqlain Mushtaq would be best spin bowling coach for him as well as other Ausis spinners. We have seen how Shane Shillingford of West Indies have learned quickly from Sqalain in a few weeks camp Ausis can do the same and I am sure Lyon is better than any of the non sub continent bowlers he just need some guidance he is a born talent he will learn quickly, Shillingford is an exception but Lyon is better than Swan or Doherty.

  • POSTED BY Oldpunk on | November 15, 2013, 8:40 GMT

    @Front Foot Lunge - Why would anyone laugh at Lyon? Take a look at his stats. When you consider he has limited first class experience, has been thrown into Test Cricket at the deep end, bowls off-spin on Australian pitches, has been the victim of some strange selections ( Doherty, Agar), then you would have to conclude he is a very good bowler who will improve with experience. If Swann is the benchmark, then statistically Lyon is heading in the right direction.