The Investec Ashes 2013 July 8, 2013

'I've learned I have to think faster'

As observed by Michael Hussey, Nathan Lyon is the beating heart of the Australian team. Fortified by the lessons of India, he is poised to play a pivotal role during a dry English summer.
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No-one in the Australian dressing room better epitomises the pure joy of playing for their country than Nathan Lyon. In a landscape increasingly riven by loyalties more commercial than communal, Lyon's childlike glee about pulling on the baggy green is endlessly refreshing. It so impressed Michael Hussey that on the day of his retirement he handed Lyon the honour of leading the team victory song.

So it is no surprise to hear of Lyon speak about the Investec Ashes series with enthusiasm so unbridled that it is possible to wonder how he has managed to wait seven weeks in England before the Trent Bridge Test rolled around. Lyon would never speak of the game in the careworn manner of the career professional, but it is clear that the game will never feel less like a job than it does right now.

"Cricket is something I love and I've been fortunate enough to make a career out of it," Lyon told ESPNcricinfo. "It's only the start of my career and hopefully I've got a few years left. But I just really love playing cricket for Australia, and I'll do everything I possibly can to help each team-mate out there. It's going to be a tough series, no doubt about that. We have to play some really good cricket to put England to the sword. But we're here to win the Ashes, and we plan on taking them back home with us."

Lyon's career had been sculpted with this year, and these two series, very much in mind. Chosen for the Sri Lanka tour that followed the team's humbling defeat at home against England in 2010-11, Lyon's first Test arrived immediately after the release of the Argus report that charted Australian cricket's troubles and suggested ways around them before the urn was next contested. Since then, Lyon has played 22 of a possible 24 Test matches, claiming 76 wickets along the way.

He has also learned to cope with the swings and roundabouts of the international game. There have been plenty of peaks, including 5 for 34 on debut in Galle, key spells against South Africa in the white-knuckle Johannesburg victory later in 2011, the 4-0 hiding of India at home, and Michael Hussey's retirement decision that it should be Lyon to claim the honour of leading the team victory song Under the Southern Cross. Chief among the troughs were the 47 in Cape Town, a narrow defeat to New Zealand in Hobart for which Lyon was the last man out, and the hellish tour of India.

Lyon was dropped after the first Test of that series, cast aside due to match figures of 4 for 244 and a habit of offering up one loose ball an over. But an admirable resilience and capacity to learn was to be written all over his display in the final match of the series in Delhi. Nine Indian wickets were harvested on a dusty surface, helped by a line around the wicket that capitalised on the turn available.

The India tour could quite easily have ruined Lyon, as the 2010 tour did for Nathan Hauritz in 2010. But he emerged from it stronger, smarter, and quicker in the mind, if not through the air. In a dry English summer, Lyon's role may prove to be almost as expansive as the deviation he extracted at the Feroz Shah Kotla.

"There's no doubt I feel I've grown in myself from the experiences in India from the first Test to the last Test," Lyon said. "It's hard to say you're proud when you lose 4-0 and you're not able to contribute to a team victory over there. It was a disappointing tour, there's no doubt about that, but on a personal level I definitely learned a lot about my bowling and the pressures of international cricket."

Hype surrounding the legspinner Fawad Ahmed's qualification to play for Australia, via Federal Government legislation to expedite his eligibility for a passport, has worked somewhat in Lyon's favour. As much attention has been placed on Fawad, who may or may not take part in the Ashes, Lyon has worked quietly and with increasing confidence in the company of the Centre of Excellence spin coach John Davison. The energy he showed at the bowling crease during the tour match against Somerset at Taunton was palpable.

"That is a good thing about being over here, I haven't looked into any of the hype surrounding Fawad," Lyon said. "I've been over here for seven weeks now and was fortunate enough to have John Davison come over for the first two weeks and I was able to do a lot of work with him and just worry about myself, what I can do and what I need to do to contribute to the team.

"I'm feeling really good with my bowling at the moment. I feel really confident in my skills to get the job done and I feel really energetic and really loving bowling. I've always loved bowling, but it's gone to a new level from working with Davo in Brissy and then over here for a couple of weeks. I'm really excited about this Ashes series, it's a dream come true to be a part of an Australian squad for an England tour."

Davison's advice has been a constant during Lyon's time in the Australian team, a period in which he has also had to come to terms with the amount of advice hurled his way from all directions. The South Australia coach Darren Berry, the former Test spinners Ashley Mallett and Stuart MacGill, the national selector John Inverarity and the assistant coach Steve Rixon have been just a few of the voices in Lyon's ear, but the most resonant and lasting has been that of Davison.

Armed with experience of twirling the ball down towards batsmen far more adept at spin than anyone in Alastair Cook's team, Lyon will be a more nuanced bowler than the trier who wheeled through 99 increasingly rushed overs against South Africa at Adelaide Oval last year as Faf Du Plessis ground out a draw.

"In international cricket there are a lot of people with a lot of different opinions and that's something I've learned," Lyon said. "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."

Something else Lyon can trust is the fact the lessons of India will help him against England. Armed with experience of twirling the ball down towards batsmen far more adept at spin than anyone in Alastair Cook's team, Lyon will be a more nuanced bowler than the trier who wheeled through 99 increasingly rushed overs against South Africa at Adelaide Oval last year as Faf Du Plessis ground out a draw. He will also be more confident in his ability to capitalise on pitches prepared to offer assistance to his opposite number, Graeme Swann.

"Indian players obviously play spin quite well and it was a great challenge for me personally over there," Lyon said. "That's something I have learned, that I have to think faster. Really compete against the opposition and put into place some different tactical movements to compete against the batter and plan to get him out.

"I'm learning as quick as possible about the English conditions and what role I have and what I have to do to get the best out of my bowling over here. I've been doing my personal research on every batsman in the English squad. Hopefully I've picked up a couple of points I can try to use out there in the middle."

Success in the middle will lead to celebrations in the rooms. And if there is anything Lyon is itching to do more than play in an Ashes series, it is for the next chance to bellow Under the Southern Cross at the top of his lungs.

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

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • POSTED BY Chris_P on | July 8, 2013, 2:52 GMT

    His record with Wade keeping was very poor given the multitude of missed chances Wade offered up. He definitely improved his action, line & length as the Indian series progressed. I am not ready to write him off, he still offers plenty, the thing I like about him is he is still improving & wants to improve. But with Agar coming on well, he needs to step up even more.

  • POSTED BY Meety on | July 8, 2013, 2:09 GMT

    The most maligned cricketer in the Ashes squad (even more so than Watto). He is a lot better than what the average pundit thinks - 76 wickets in 22 Tests is historically a reasonable return for an offie. I expect him to do better than Hauritz in 2009 & he was at least a C Plus - probably B minus.

  • POSTED BY H_Z_O on | July 11, 2013, 14:06 GMT

    Nope, not a 5-for, just a debut 50 batting at number 11. Maybe that's why he was selected ;). Australia's batting secret weapon.

  • POSTED BY H_Z_O on | July 10, 2013, 14:50 GMT

    Not seen much of Agar before today but based on what I've seen, I can't see why so many were calling for him to be picked over Lyon. Even with England's batsmen being predominantly right-handed I'm not sure it makes much sense.

    Bet he goes and takes a 5-for now.

  • POSTED BY Meety on | July 10, 2013, 2:17 GMT

    @Mitty2 on (July 9, 2013, 15:20 GMT) - yep, going on first tours to India alone, Lyon is > than Swann & Panesar. In fact Panesar's first TWO tours to India were inferior to Lyons. Swann averaged nearly 60 inhis first tour of India, Panesar around 80, (then around 60 the 2nd time). So Lyon's 30 odd tour was quite reaonable unless you are @brusselslion. Can only imagine what he thought of Panesar & Swann after their first tours - LOL!

  • POSTED BY Mitty2 on | July 9, 2013, 16:20 GMT

    @brusselslions? "Woeful performances"? It's his first bloody series to India and he's only 25, and playing FC cricket for two years... Give him a break! Please, how well exactly did warne do on his tours to India, let alone his first? How about graeme swann's first series at a much older age? He got 9 wickets in the last test and deserved 10 (more missed chances from good ol' Matty wade) and kept us in the game, not to mention that throughout he had no support from Doherty and maxwell (shudder) and no confidence from the selectors. Also on your comment about our quicks in India (lol), pattinson performed better than Anderson with an average of 27 (without having the privelige of bowling to Singh/gambhir/sehwag in the last two tests) compared to Jimmy's 30 and siddle had a good series with an average of 33. The rest of the English quicks failed miserably with both bresnan and broad failing to take a single wicket. I think you might have to rethink both comments mate ;)

  • POSTED BY H_Z_O on | July 9, 2013, 13:42 GMT

    @Jono Makim According to some he won't even get a chance to bowl because your quicks will have us all out for under 100 ;).

    I agree, though, I think Lyon will have a more than capable series and if England's batsmen do underestimate him it could be even better than that. And anyone who thinks he's a worse bowler than Monty hasn't been watching him. Monty's strength has been when Swann's at the other end; he was outbowled by Bruce Martin when Swann missed the New Zealand series. I wouldn't even be surprised to see Lyon's figures be better than Swann's by the end of his career (he's still very young).

  • POSTED BY on | July 9, 2013, 11:01 GMT

    @Brusselslion, show me the sane Aussie fan who expects Lyon to carve swathes through the English batting? He will be there to tie down an end and hopefully pick some 2nd innings wickets, I don't think any of us would be expecting more than that.

  • POSTED BY brusselslion on | July 9, 2013, 10:51 GMT

    Australian posters seem keen to dismiss the generally poor performance in India on the basis that conditions there did not suit their pace attack. Fair enough; that's one premise.

    However, how can Lyon's woeful performance on pitches, that were meant to suit him, be glossed over? England's batsmen proved that they can play spin when they played against Ohja and Ashwin. Lyon is not in their class, nor Swann or Monty's for that matter, and will no doubt struggle in this series.

  • POSTED BY 5wombats on | July 9, 2013, 8:53 GMT

    @RandyOZ. Hilarious as ever from you. You say; "Swann, with his 40+ average against Australia, will pose no threat". No threat eh? Swanny has played Australia 10 times in Tests and has been instrumental in winning THREE of those matches. The facts are all here on cricinfo - so let me remind you... Lords 2009 Swann 2nd inns 4/87. Oval 2009 4/38 and 4/120 - match winning figures. Adelaide 2010 2/70 and 5/91 - match winning figures. But mate - if you want to go on believing that Swann "will pose no threat" you carry on. With Aus packed with left handers it'll be fun to read your excuses as the series unfolds.

  • POSTED BY Chris_P on | July 8, 2013, 2:52 GMT

    His record with Wade keeping was very poor given the multitude of missed chances Wade offered up. He definitely improved his action, line & length as the Indian series progressed. I am not ready to write him off, he still offers plenty, the thing I like about him is he is still improving & wants to improve. But with Agar coming on well, he needs to step up even more.

  • POSTED BY Meety on | July 8, 2013, 2:09 GMT

    The most maligned cricketer in the Ashes squad (even more so than Watto). He is a lot better than what the average pundit thinks - 76 wickets in 22 Tests is historically a reasonable return for an offie. I expect him to do better than Hauritz in 2009 & he was at least a C Plus - probably B minus.

  • POSTED BY H_Z_O on | July 11, 2013, 14:06 GMT

    Nope, not a 5-for, just a debut 50 batting at number 11. Maybe that's why he was selected ;). Australia's batting secret weapon.

  • POSTED BY H_Z_O on | July 10, 2013, 14:50 GMT

    Not seen much of Agar before today but based on what I've seen, I can't see why so many were calling for him to be picked over Lyon. Even with England's batsmen being predominantly right-handed I'm not sure it makes much sense.

    Bet he goes and takes a 5-for now.

  • POSTED BY Meety on | July 10, 2013, 2:17 GMT

    @Mitty2 on (July 9, 2013, 15:20 GMT) - yep, going on first tours to India alone, Lyon is > than Swann & Panesar. In fact Panesar's first TWO tours to India were inferior to Lyons. Swann averaged nearly 60 inhis first tour of India, Panesar around 80, (then around 60 the 2nd time). So Lyon's 30 odd tour was quite reaonable unless you are @brusselslion. Can only imagine what he thought of Panesar & Swann after their first tours - LOL!

  • POSTED BY Mitty2 on | July 9, 2013, 16:20 GMT

    @brusselslions? "Woeful performances"? It's his first bloody series to India and he's only 25, and playing FC cricket for two years... Give him a break! Please, how well exactly did warne do on his tours to India, let alone his first? How about graeme swann's first series at a much older age? He got 9 wickets in the last test and deserved 10 (more missed chances from good ol' Matty wade) and kept us in the game, not to mention that throughout he had no support from Doherty and maxwell (shudder) and no confidence from the selectors. Also on your comment about our quicks in India (lol), pattinson performed better than Anderson with an average of 27 (without having the privelige of bowling to Singh/gambhir/sehwag in the last two tests) compared to Jimmy's 30 and siddle had a good series with an average of 33. The rest of the English quicks failed miserably with both bresnan and broad failing to take a single wicket. I think you might have to rethink both comments mate ;)

  • POSTED BY H_Z_O on | July 9, 2013, 13:42 GMT

    @Jono Makim According to some he won't even get a chance to bowl because your quicks will have us all out for under 100 ;).

    I agree, though, I think Lyon will have a more than capable series and if England's batsmen do underestimate him it could be even better than that. And anyone who thinks he's a worse bowler than Monty hasn't been watching him. Monty's strength has been when Swann's at the other end; he was outbowled by Bruce Martin when Swann missed the New Zealand series. I wouldn't even be surprised to see Lyon's figures be better than Swann's by the end of his career (he's still very young).

  • POSTED BY on | July 9, 2013, 11:01 GMT

    @Brusselslion, show me the sane Aussie fan who expects Lyon to carve swathes through the English batting? He will be there to tie down an end and hopefully pick some 2nd innings wickets, I don't think any of us would be expecting more than that.

  • POSTED BY brusselslion on | July 9, 2013, 10:51 GMT

    Australian posters seem keen to dismiss the generally poor performance in India on the basis that conditions there did not suit their pace attack. Fair enough; that's one premise.

    However, how can Lyon's woeful performance on pitches, that were meant to suit him, be glossed over? England's batsmen proved that they can play spin when they played against Ohja and Ashwin. Lyon is not in their class, nor Swann or Monty's for that matter, and will no doubt struggle in this series.

  • POSTED BY 5wombats on | July 9, 2013, 8:53 GMT

    @RandyOZ. Hilarious as ever from you. You say; "Swann, with his 40+ average against Australia, will pose no threat". No threat eh? Swanny has played Australia 10 times in Tests and has been instrumental in winning THREE of those matches. The facts are all here on cricinfo - so let me remind you... Lords 2009 Swann 2nd inns 4/87. Oval 2009 4/38 and 4/120 - match winning figures. Adelaide 2010 2/70 and 5/91 - match winning figures. But mate - if you want to go on believing that Swann "will pose no threat" you carry on. With Aus packed with left handers it'll be fun to read your excuses as the series unfolds.

  • POSTED BY whofriggincares on | July 9, 2013, 8:52 GMT

    What would be absolutely golden is if Lyon ended up with a better average V England than Swann V Australia after these 10 tests. And lets face it beating 40 odd per wicket shouldn't be too hard. I wonder if that would stop the stupid "seamer" comments? Doubt it , it would just make stupid people sound stupider. The poms better hope Anderson (their one world class bowler) stays fit or else things could get very messy indeed. We all know the balance of power is shifting back to the Aussies, after all England never dominates anyone for long now do they?

  • POSTED BY on | July 9, 2013, 8:02 GMT

    7-94 vs India in India.... You don't fluke those kind of figures. The kid can bowl, give him a break.

  • POSTED BY kensohatter on | July 9, 2013, 5:55 GMT

    The spinners of both sides play different roles. Lyon is picked to keep things tight for Pattison and Starc to wreak havoc. Swanns role is to attack the left handed stacked aussie line up. Swann will def take more wickets but that doesnt mean lyon doesnt hold value.

  • POSTED BY on | July 9, 2013, 2:50 GMT

    I think he's a good player, rather a cut-price Swann, but still not half bad. I think he's a much safer option than Ahmed or Agar, because he has that wee bit of experience now. If he goes for 150 in the first couple of tests and Australia lose, then they'll think about drafting in someone a bit fancier, but I think he's a good bet for now.

    Incidentally, what odds of a genuinely spinning pitch later on in the series? Old Trafford has a history of being condusive to spin, and I've noticed that Chester-le-Street has seen a few spin-heavy matches this season. With England seemingly a little ahead in the spin-stakes (judging by the India series), I reckon they should produce a turner and reunite Swann and Panesar to do their Laker-and-Lock act.

  • POSTED BY on | July 8, 2013, 22:57 GMT

    Best wishes to Lyon. I see way too many one sided comments here bordering on classical 'fanboyism'. Lyon is clearly not Swann, but deep inside I see a decent bowler willing to learn from his errors and improve his craft. That's the first step towards redemption from past failures. Can't a bowler like Lyon never improve in his career ? I would definitely give him a shot. Also, the Ashes haven't even started. I read the Ian Botham column on the BBC website and it was quite ridiculous to say the least. I never expected Sir Ian to be so brash in his predictions. England are definitely the better team, no doubt, but a 10-0 scoreline is imaginative. That would presumably be the obituary to Australian cricket. I expect a close series as a neutral fan, and as sensible cricket fan. Let the battle begin.

  • POSTED BY Jaffa79 on | July 8, 2013, 22:16 GMT

    Isn't it ironic how England now have a cocky but talented spinner who turns it a lot and the Aussies have a meek, mild workmanlike spinner who doesn't really turn it. It is the 90s/200s reversed! (I am not saying Swanny is as good as Warne btw!!)

  • POSTED BY Alexk400 on | July 8, 2013, 21:57 GMT

    You have to bowl to best to contain him. Thats where you gain confidence.

  • POSTED BY on | July 8, 2013, 21:17 GMT

    Lyon actually is quite a good spinner. Everytime i have seen him bowl i have been impressed also the stats he has are not bad.

  • POSTED BY milepost on | July 8, 2013, 19:40 GMT

    @Front-Foot-Lunge a gulf? 2-1 and 3-1 after our 5-0 demolition and that's a gulf? Australia have the higher rated players in the rankings as well as the current form. From what high almighty place do you see these visions? Botham predicting 10-0 is about the most absurd thing I have ever heard. Make sure you are still here with your wisdom during the series!

  • POSTED BY Ozcricketwriter on | July 8, 2013, 19:15 GMT

    I have seen Lyon throughout his career. He started off with a great T20 record, then a great FC record, and the honeymoon period continued with a great start to his test career. He was going great guns. But then something went wrong. He was playing test matches where he didn't bowl, yet was still in the XI batting at number 11. He was playing matches where he bowled just a dozen or so overs. Presumably all to protect his average and save his confidence. And since then, he has gone downhill significantly. Sure, he has had the odd good game here or there, but it has been interspersed with some really bad ones. You can't blame wicket keeping as he has done even worse at FC level in the past 18 months, and it isn't all down to missed chances. The fact of the matter is that he is no longer Australia's best spinner. Fawad Alam, Ashton Agar and Steve O'Keefe are all significantly ahead of him. Lyon shouldn't be in this team, and not just because they should go all pace.

  • POSTED BY AKS286 on | July 8, 2013, 19:13 GMT

    First you learn how to bowl in international cricket then learn how to bowl in test cricket, then also learn how bowl tight and maidens in a match, then understand what is line and length, rolling fingers does't mean you are a spinner. Poor standards , Clarke's favour, tailenders wickets don't saves you for a long period. Now law is changed mass is ready with sport employment VISA and passport your position is not safe FELLA.

  • POSTED BY njr1330 on | July 8, 2013, 18:49 GMT

    People criticise Lyon because he is a spinner who got some 'tap' from the top batsmen on Indian pitches...but, don't they all! They say he didn't get Du Plessis out in Adelaide...but neither did anyone else! They say he doesn't spin the ball...neither did Anil Kumble, even when he took all 10 against Pakistan...cheerfully admits that he's never turned the ball in his life! ...leave the lad alone!

  • POSTED BY hhillbumper on | July 8, 2013, 18:38 GMT

    oh god help us.Even their spinner is a reincarnation of the worlds greatest bowlers now. Do you know the term hyperbole in Aus? It might be a bonus if you look it up.We can lend you a dictionary if it will help.Evening Randy

  • POSTED BY Thefakebook on | July 8, 2013, 18:22 GMT

    Agar and Ahmed have up the ante for Lyno. But I think one day OZ will play two spinners again may be when Jimmy Faulkner is a complete all rounder and a permanent fixture at no.7 then we may see Lyon and Ahmed or Lyon and Agar together,but this guy will always remain in the top 14 for OZ test Squad any time!And he deserves it!

  • POSTED BY Front-Foot-Lunge on | July 8, 2013, 16:48 GMT

    He still hasn't learned to turn the ball though, which is what a spinner is really supposed to do. You wouldn't find England being content with that, but such is the gulf that has existed between the sides for 5 + years and is strong as ever today, it's no surprise to find Australia have different standards.

  • POSTED BY RandyOZ on | July 8, 2013, 16:43 GMT

    Lyon, with a far greater average than Swann, will be licking his lips at the sight of the bunny bell still in the team. We all thought Warne ended his career years ago but there you go, the talent must be that thin. Swann, with his 40+ average against Australia, will pose no threat.

  • POSTED BY Snick_To_Backward_Point on | July 8, 2013, 16:03 GMT

    Miity - got to agree, Swanny didn't have the best of series on your flat tracks with no help for the spinners - true. But then he didn't need to fire - we had plenty of quality seam to get the job done. Right now I see the Aussies as having an average - slightly above average pace attack (provided of course they don;t collapse through injury) and the worst batting line up out of the top 8 test nations. The sad truth is the Aussie batting won't stand up and put enough runs on the board. The warm up matches are demonstrating clearly the Aussie bowlers are struggling to bowl out county teams and the less said about the batting the better.

  • POSTED BY on | July 8, 2013, 14:02 GMT

    Not just Wade's ineptness at play here but also the inability of our batsmen to put a score up for him to play with, all important for any spinner. Sure he has been disappointing on the odd occasion but he has only been playing first class cricket for two years, a solid part of a developing allround attack. If in three or four years time we have Patto, Lyon, Starc, Bird, Agar and Cummins all hitting their straps well and truly than another golden age may not be too far away!

  • POSTED BY UndertheGrill on | July 8, 2013, 13:31 GMT

    Lyon maybe "armed with experience of twirling the ball down towards batsmen far more adept at spin than anyone in Alastair Cook's team", but Alastair Cook's team have also got experience of successfully facing spinners far more adept than Nathan Lyon.

  • POSTED BY Moppa on | July 8, 2013, 12:46 GMT

    @Ozcricketwriter, you seem to forget The Oval Test of 2009 where Australia went in with all-pace and got nowhere against Trott (on debut) in the second innings and lost chasing 500+. A spinner is essential for team balance and Lyon has performed exactly that role since his debut. I agree with @Meety that he'll do much like Hauritz did in 2009 (up til being left out at the Oval), which would be perfectly serviceable. @landl47, I agree that the sheer number of right-handers in England's line-up makes Lyon's job harder, but I think he tends to get more wickets with flight than turn and so he's not reliant on turning the ball away from the bat. Provided the pacemen start well, I think Lyon will do enough.

  • POSTED BY KARNAWAT33 on | July 8, 2013, 12:41 GMT

    God save AUSTRALIA! I am an ardent fan of this team, but I won't support this decision. Playing Mr.Lyon has backfired on several occasions. India, was the latest example, where batsmen like Dhawan and Murali Vijay were hitting him for sixes with a blindfold on their eyes for gods sake. If Dhawan-Vijay can do what they did, Cook, Bell and KP are gonna eat him alive. I have to admit, that after Warne, Hogg and Hauritz, the spin department has become an absolute JOKE. It is disgraceful that Mr.Lyon is being given an opportunity yet again and shows the depth of the Australian bench as well as their domestic cricket. I hope and pray Mr.Lyon goes for less than 4 on over. Expecting a crucial breakthrough will be as good as hoping that Australia will win this series 5-0. Optimism at it's best if you may. Clarke and Steven Smith along with some Davey Warner are good enough to handle the over rate and the spin department, with Watto, Faulkner, Siddo, Bird, Starc and Pattinson in the XI.

  • POSTED BY HatsforBats on | July 8, 2013, 9:53 GMT

    It sounds like Lyon might be better off without Davison. The whole world has been able to see that he's been rushing his overs, bowling too fast, and has lost much of the flight & drift he showed when he debuted (and a major reason he was selected in the first place). I wish CA would get their heads together and employ a specialist spin coach for the squad, preferably someone with international experience and success backing them up.

  • POSTED BY Shaggy076 on | July 8, 2013, 9:39 GMT

    Bradmanbestever - aka frontfootlunge as you gave the game away earlier this year. Lyon at 24byears of age is streets ahead of swann at the same age 70 odd wickets just over 30. his average not far behind Swann now and at the end of there careers could easily be renowned as avfar better bowler than Swann. Yet I continue to read posts under both alias belittling him. Time to build a bridge and move on from your constant attacks on Lyon.

  • POSTED BY James_Murphy on | July 8, 2013, 8:32 GMT

    Lyon needs to vary his pace a lot more than he does currently. If you look at the best spinners such as Herath, Ashwin and Ajmal they can sometimes vary their speed by 25k's in an over. It isn't unusual for an over to go 80, 74, 81, 77, 97, 84. Lyon's overs seem to go 88,88,88,89,89,88. This is his biggest downfall in my opinion. I didn't like reading that he is continuing with Davison as his number one mentor. The India tour is proof he isn't progressing as well as expected, bar the final test where he was bowling on an absolute minefield. I really like the guy and really think he has a lot of potential and want him to succeed but he should be listening more to the McGill's and Warne's of the world in my humble opinion.

  • POSTED BY Mitty2 on | July 8, 2013, 7:31 GMT

    Nathan - as others have said - would undoubtedly have an average of under 30 if it weren't for a certain Matthew wade who lost us a certain Adelaide test match. I watched the whole Indian series (in much pain) and the selections of course ruined any smidget of a chance that we had, and this effect pervaded to Lyon, who had to bowl in tandem with Doherty/maxwell (cringe). IF, he weren't stupidly dropped, IF, in chennai we didn't play with three seamers, IF, Steven o'keefe was selected instead of Doherty, lyon's series would've been much more prosperous and that 9 for would've happened earlier. But what does it matter, Arthur is (thank god) not our coach anymore thanks to the 4-0 mauling and Nathan got the lesson he needed.

    Funnily enough, everyone said swann would be the deciding factor in '09 despite averaging over 40 and being out bowled by hauritz for the most part... And Lyon is quite obviously a better bowler than hauritz.

  • POSTED BY Ozcricketwriter on | July 8, 2013, 7:25 GMT

    Lyon is pretty badly out of form and on merit shouldn't be in the squad. For all those claiming Wade is the reason - Wade isn't his first class keeper yet he has been pretty awful in FC matches - and in the warm up matches too. Ashton Agar, Steve O'Keefe and Fawad Alam all should be ahead of Lyon on merit. And add about 20 fast bowlers to that list if we want to play our best bowler. Unless the pitch is spinning an absolute mile I wouldn't take any of them. The biggest mistake Australian cricket has been making since Warne left is playing a spinner for the sake of the spinner. They need to go all pace.

  • POSTED BY landl47 on | July 8, 2013, 6:56 GMT

    I think Lyon's a useful bowler and with the England pitches shaping up to offer a bit of turn Aus definitely needs a spinner. Besides, someone has to eat up the overs and if, as I expect, Pattinson and Starc are two of the bowlers selected for the first test, then a workhorse is indispensable to keep those two fresh.

    The drawback for Lyon is that he's an offie and England's top 7 are all righthanded with the exception of Cook (he of the three hundreds in India). The Indian offspinner R. Ashwin took 14 wickets @52 apiece in 4 tests against England (compared with 29 @20 against Aus, with its multitude of lefthanders). Ojha the SLA had the best returns for India against England, though even he was put in the shade by Swann and Panesar.

    It looks like being a Summer of hard work for Lyon, so it's good that he enjoys bowling!

  • POSTED BY on | July 8, 2013, 6:40 GMT

    Love Nathan Lyon, he is a good fit in the team and looks good under the baggy green, leads the teamsong. Hopefully he has a good series.

  • POSTED BY nzcricket174 on | July 8, 2013, 6:35 GMT

    He's a much better figure than his figures suggest. Matthew Wade dropped and missed a lot of chances.

  • POSTED BY YorkshirePudding on | July 8, 2013, 6:27 GMT

    @nepalimanan, Lyon will play a very important role, keeping his team mates hydrated.

    Seriously Lyon should do well he'll have rough generated by the Aussie left arm seamers, and if he can give it a bit more air, and drop his average pace by 1-2kph, he should do very well. He should also watch where Swann bowls as that will give him a few ideas of the right lines and lengths.

  • POSTED BY hotcric01 on | July 8, 2013, 6:16 GMT

    Lot of English batsmen are right handed.So Lyon won't be a much threat to them.He is not still an Ajmal.Left arm orthodox or leg spinner would have been much better.But Lyon is a fast learner and I like him as a player and a person.

  • POSTED BY BradmanBestEver on | July 8, 2013, 4:44 GMT

    napalimanana: I think he will play a key role also - he will be targeted, get flogged and be replaced by Jelly Ozcricketwriter: he is a better option than Jelly right now, but if he is a big liability after 2 tests, Jelly should replace him. We can not make the same mistake we did last time when we left Hauritz out - we need some spin.

  • POSTED BY nepalimanan on | July 8, 2013, 3:49 GMT

    i think he will play a key role in ashes

  • POSTED BY Big_Maxy_Walker on | July 8, 2013, 2:42 GMT

    he has to slow down, take his time between balls and use the crease effectively. You cant bowl straight to the english

  • POSTED BY Ozcricketwriter on | July 8, 2013, 2:07 GMT

    Lyon isn't in my first test XI. I think we should go all pace.

  • POSTED BY Ozcricketwriter on | July 8, 2013, 2:07 GMT

    Lyon isn't in my first test XI. I think we should go all pace.

  • POSTED BY Big_Maxy_Walker on | July 8, 2013, 2:42 GMT

    he has to slow down, take his time between balls and use the crease effectively. You cant bowl straight to the english

  • POSTED BY nepalimanan on | July 8, 2013, 3:49 GMT

    i think he will play a key role in ashes

  • POSTED BY BradmanBestEver on | July 8, 2013, 4:44 GMT

    napalimanana: I think he will play a key role also - he will be targeted, get flogged and be replaced by Jelly Ozcricketwriter: he is a better option than Jelly right now, but if he is a big liability after 2 tests, Jelly should replace him. We can not make the same mistake we did last time when we left Hauritz out - we need some spin.

  • POSTED BY hotcric01 on | July 8, 2013, 6:16 GMT

    Lot of English batsmen are right handed.So Lyon won't be a much threat to them.He is not still an Ajmal.Left arm orthodox or leg spinner would have been much better.But Lyon is a fast learner and I like him as a player and a person.

  • POSTED BY YorkshirePudding on | July 8, 2013, 6:27 GMT

    @nepalimanan, Lyon will play a very important role, keeping his team mates hydrated.

    Seriously Lyon should do well he'll have rough generated by the Aussie left arm seamers, and if he can give it a bit more air, and drop his average pace by 1-2kph, he should do very well. He should also watch where Swann bowls as that will give him a few ideas of the right lines and lengths.

  • POSTED BY nzcricket174 on | July 8, 2013, 6:35 GMT

    He's a much better figure than his figures suggest. Matthew Wade dropped and missed a lot of chances.

  • POSTED BY on | July 8, 2013, 6:40 GMT

    Love Nathan Lyon, he is a good fit in the team and looks good under the baggy green, leads the teamsong. Hopefully he has a good series.

  • POSTED BY landl47 on | July 8, 2013, 6:56 GMT

    I think Lyon's a useful bowler and with the England pitches shaping up to offer a bit of turn Aus definitely needs a spinner. Besides, someone has to eat up the overs and if, as I expect, Pattinson and Starc are two of the bowlers selected for the first test, then a workhorse is indispensable to keep those two fresh.

    The drawback for Lyon is that he's an offie and England's top 7 are all righthanded with the exception of Cook (he of the three hundreds in India). The Indian offspinner R. Ashwin took 14 wickets @52 apiece in 4 tests against England (compared with 29 @20 against Aus, with its multitude of lefthanders). Ojha the SLA had the best returns for India against England, though even he was put in the shade by Swann and Panesar.

    It looks like being a Summer of hard work for Lyon, so it's good that he enjoys bowling!

  • POSTED BY Ozcricketwriter on | July 8, 2013, 7:25 GMT

    Lyon is pretty badly out of form and on merit shouldn't be in the squad. For all those claiming Wade is the reason - Wade isn't his first class keeper yet he has been pretty awful in FC matches - and in the warm up matches too. Ashton Agar, Steve O'Keefe and Fawad Alam all should be ahead of Lyon on merit. And add about 20 fast bowlers to that list if we want to play our best bowler. Unless the pitch is spinning an absolute mile I wouldn't take any of them. The biggest mistake Australian cricket has been making since Warne left is playing a spinner for the sake of the spinner. They need to go all pace.