Matches (11)
IND v SA (1)
Asia Cup (3)
Shield (3)
AUS v WI (1)
WI-W v NZ-W (2)
Legends League (1)

Lynn wants Australia to 'throw the first punch'

Chris Lynn believes the upcoming T20 matches can help Australia kickstart their season following the ODI series defeat

Daniel Brettig
Daniel Brettig
Kagiso Rabada bounced out Chris Lynn after an absorbing duel, Australia v South Africa, 2nd ODI, Adelaide, November 9, 2018

Kagiso Rabada bounced out Chris Lynn after an absorbing duel  •  Getty Images

Chris Lynn only knows one way, so it was little surprise to hear him declare that the key to the rest of Australia's summer is to start "throwing the first punch" so as to "drive the game" against South Africa and India, starting with the one-off T20 on the Gold Coast on Saturday night.
This is easier said than done, of course, with Australia's performances so far characterised more by uncertainty and struggle rather than crispness of movement and clarity of thought. When Lynn was promoted to open in the decisive ODI in Hobart on Sunday, his attempt to "throw the first punch" resulted in an edge and a duck at the hands of Dale Steyn.
"We didn't get off to the greatest starts in our batting unit," Lynn said on the Gold Coast. "Hopefully we can do that tomorrow night and I suppose we were always just chasing the game rather than driving the game, so first and foremost we want to be out there throwing the first punch and putting them on the back foot, because then if you drive the game it makes life so much easier, not only as a batting group but for your captain, for your bowlers.
"If we can start that momentum through this T20 series, I think the Test series will be crucial and quite challenging against India, so if we can build momentum early in the T20 format, build guys' confidence and belief that we're still the best in the world, I think it's going to be huge and hopefully we can start that tomorrow night."
Despite low scores in Perth and Hobart, and a missed opportunity in Adelaide where he was unable to resist the temptation to keep attacking Kagiso Rabada after a quartet of blows to the boundary, Lynn stressed that he would not be changing his approach.
"I don't think I'll change at all to be honest," he said. "I feel like I'm hitting the ball quite well, runs haven't been there, but just because you miss out in a couple of innings you don't change your whole game plan. To me it's all about keeping my head still, hitting through the line of the ball and trying to do that to the best of my ability.
"In the T20 format of the game, you're going to come off some nights and other nights you're going to fail, that's just the way it goes in the shorter format. Hopefully tomorrow night it goes my way. The first game I was [nervous] just because it was my first game for Australia in a long time, but after the first 10 minutes the nerves were settled for me and it's just a game no matter what format it is.
"It's a white ball coming down at you, it swings a little bit here and there, but I want to make sure I'm having fun, that's the main thing. I'm certainly doing that at the moment, even though results haven't gone our way. Every time you step out on the ground you want to contribute and do as best you can. I still feel I've got a lot to offer in international cricket, the dominoes haven't lined up yet but I think it's not far off."
As for the challenge posed by South Africa, Lynn said the quality of Steyn, Rabada and Lungi Ngidi in particular meant he was learning a lot in a short space of time. South Africa's captain Faf du Plessis has been blunt in stating that extra pace provided by Steyn and Rabada was the key to stopping Lynn from causing the sort of havoc he has regularly inflicted on opponents in the BBL.
"Two of the best bowlers in the world, Dale Steyn and Rabada, and someone like Ngidi hasn't given us anything to hit so far and has executed his role to a tee," Lynn said. "They've got a couple of classy spinners as well. That's why it's international cricket, there's no easy overs, no easy games, so I'm really enjoying that challenge.
"We haven't got the results on the board and I haven't personally, but I'm loving every minute of it. You work out very quickly who you are as a player and where you've got to get better. It's going to take a while to adjust, but the change room's happy and we're working our backsides off."

Daniel Brettig is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. @danbrettig