5 reasons why Nathan Lyon is at par with R Ashwin
#4. Variations, skills, and fitness
A spinner mostly bowls long spells and hence has to be physically fit. The mere act of coming to the crease and bowling over after over takes a massive toll on fingers. Hence, spinners must possess powerful fingers and arms along with a strong body.
At Ranchi in 2017 against India, Lyon bowled 46 overs in one inning. This task was so daunting that he developed a blister on his bowling finger but in the next Test at Dharamshala, the offie bowled 34 overs in the first inning and grabbed five wickets.
In the recent Test series against Bangladesh, he bowled more than 30 overs in every innings, which reflects his endurance and physical stamina.
Along with his stamina, Lyon has also proved that he has all necessary skills present in his repertoire. He excels in the traditional art of off-spin bowling which is setting the batsman up with tight line and lengths and has impeccable control over his pace.
In the Chittagong Test, he altered his line and lengths smartly in the first and the second innings to extract maximum bite from the surface. The Aussie bowler has proved that he can operate with the new ball and bowling in the first day or the fifth day makes no impact on his effectiveness.
For a spinner, the key to success is mastery over variations. R Ashwin sits at the top of the table because of his smart use of variations. Lyon too has emerged as a spinner with complete command over variations.
His biggest asset is the dip he generates. The right-arm bowler gives more revs to the ball and hence the ball dips on to the batsman forcing them to make errors. Also, his subtle pace variations and changes in lengths are impressive.