Former Australia captain Ricky Ponting gave off-spinner Nathan Lyon a pat on the back for his performance against India on Thursday. Nathan Lyon, arguably the best spinner in the world at the moment, took the crucial wicket of Cheteshwar Pujara on the first day of the Adelaide Test. India limped to 233-6 from 89 overs in the day.
Coming into the attack only in the 32nd over, Nathan Lyon finished with 1-68 from 21 overs on the fresh wicket. He appeared to have made a slight change in his run-up and bowled from a wider angle.
Nathan Lyon seemed like the only one able to ruffle Cheteshwar Pujara in the innings.
The Indian maestro was either using his feet on Lyon's full deliveries or rocking back on the shorter ones, something he brought to good use in 2018 as well. This was to preclude Lyon from settling into his groove.
However, the shrewd spinner used the experience from his 97 Test to keep his line and length intact until one spun and bounced from the off-stump to take Pujara's inside edge.
Ricky Ponting said Nathan Lyon would be a 'massive threat' for the Indians for the series.
"He's had as much success as any spinner, I think, against India over the years. He's got Virat Kohli out (in Tests) more than anybody in the history of the game, he looked like he troubled Pujara a lot today, Ricky Ponting told cricket.com.au.
"The right-handers now that come out to bat against him - he gets so much over-spin on the ball when you've got fielders around the bat - they must feel like they're going to get out every ball. He builds pressure, he bowls very few bad balls so he'll be a massive threat for them."
Ricky Ponting explains the trick behind Nathan Lyon's success
Nathan Lyon has emerged as an all-weather and all-conditions spinner for Australia. When he bowls, there is a visible excitement on the field stemming from his wicket-taking ability. Ponting tried to explain the trick behind his success.
"I think it's more about trying to challenge both edges of the bat," Ponting observed.
"When he creates the angle from wide and angles back in, that really only challenges the inside half of the bat and a glove whereas if he can get it out a little bit wider it brings the catch at slip in play, it brings a bat-pad off-side catch into play and if you get the extra bounce, like Pujara's wicket, you can still get the wicket at leg slip as well. Small adjustments, we're only talking four or six inches, but it has so much more effect."
In Australia, the 33-year-old has scalped 192 wickets at an average of just over 32. At Adelaide, this average gets even better to 26.94. If India are to win the first game, let alone the series, they will have to neutralise the Nathan Lyon threat as soon as possible.Published 18 Dec 2020, 09:29 IST