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"The honeymoon period is over" - Nathan Lyon reveals advice from Justin Langer that has made him a better bowler

Nathan Lyon
Nathan Lyon
ANALYST
Modified 13 Jan 2021, 10:35 IST
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Australian off-spinner Nathan Lyon revealed the advice he received from the then Australian batting coach Justin Langer which helped him rejuvenate his career as a Test bowler.

Only ten Tests into his career, Nathan Lyon was called by Langer and made to understand that it was high time the off-spinner performed consistently and won games for Australia.

Speaking to cricket.com.au, the 33-year-old explained how Justin Langer's advice helped him improve as a bowler:

"Quite early in my career, I think it was in my 10th Test match. Justin Langer was the assistant coach or the batting coach . He actually called me in his room in Trinidad and Tobago and said 'The honeymoon period is over. Now you need to start winning games of cricket for Australia,'" Nathan Lyon said.

Nathan Lyon further said in this regard:

"So that put a little bit pressure on me, but i was very grateful for that advice as I was trying to go out there and get better with each and every day. I think it were those words from JL (Langer) at the time that were a little bit eye-opening."

That injected a sense of urgency in Nathan Lyon to improve his overall game. After the retirement of Shane Warne, Australia tried many spinners, but no one was successful in nailing down a regular spot in the Test team.

Nathan Lyon grabbed his opportunity with both hands and has gone on to become one of the most successful spinners in the modern era, with 396 Test wickets to his name.

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Had a lot of external pressure during the start of my career: Nathan Lyon

Nathan Lyon revealed there were many questioning his place in Australia
Nathan Lyon revealed there were many questioning his place in Australia's Test side.

Nathan Lyon was not as consistent a bowler at the beginning of his career than he is now. After playing only four games in the Sheffield Shield, Nathan Lyon was fast-tracked into the Australian Test team, and there were questions raised about the player's place in the playing XI.

However, Nathan Lyon has been able to answer his critics in style and has become almost irreplaceable for his in Test cricket. He is confident about his abilities and backs himself to win games for Australia.

"Reflecting on my career, obviously I was very young, still learning the game at a very rapid rate when I first came into the Australian cricket team. I had only played four Shield games before making my debut then. Had a lot of external pressures from the media and Australian public, asking questions whether should I be there, am I good enough," Nathan Lyon revealed.
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Nathan Lyon also talked about how confidence and resilience have played a big part in his evolution as a Test bowler, saying in this regard:

"I was able to be quite resilient and find a way to perform at that level, and right now I am extremely confident about where my game and skill set is at to get the job done."

The fourth Test of the ongoing Border-Gavaskar Trophy at the Gabba in Brisbane will be Nathan Lyon's 100th Test for Australia. Closing in on 400 Test wickets, the 33-year-old is hopeful of helping his team continue their proud record in Brisbane and retain the Border-Gavaskar Trophy.

Australia haven't lost at the Gabba since 1988, which would give the hosts a psychological advantage going into the fourth Test against an injury-ravaged India. However, the spirits of the visitors will also be high after earning a heroic draw in the third Test at the SCG.

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The visitors will almost have a second-string bowling attack, as all their premier pacers are injured, Jasprit Bumrah being the latest addition to that list after reporting an abdominal strain. Hanuma Vihari and Ravindra Jadeja will also be unavailable due to a hamstring injury and a broken thumb respectively.

Nevertheless, the Test series has lived up to its blockbuster billing. With the Border-Gavaskar Trophy on the line, it remains to be seen who blinks first.

Published 13 Jan 2021, 10:35 IST
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