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'The Ball is Coming Out of My Hand Real Nicely' - Nathan Lyon

Cricketnext Staff | Updated: September 30, 2018, 12:54 PM IST
'The Ball is Coming Out of My Hand Real Nicely' - Nathan Lyon

(Image: Cricket Australia)

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Australia's tour of the UAE got off to a sound start after they restricted Pakistan A to 246 for 7 in their four-day practice match at ICC Academy in Dubai on Saturday. The day was set up by Nathan Lyon who picked up five of the six wickets finishing with 5 for 87 in 36 overs.

Almost all of the Australian bowlers had a good time with the ball as they gear up to face Pakistan in the first Test in a week's time. Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood, Lyon and Jon Holland - all of whom are expected to take part in the opening Test - went at under three runs an over on a surface which is likely to be similar to what they might get for the first Test at the Dubai International Stadium.

Shedding some light on Australia's first day on tour Lyon said he was pretty happy with how things went about for the visitors.

"Very good hit out for the boys," said Lyon. "Obviously conducive conditions to have a first day hit out. Pretty happy with the way all bowlers bowled, especially the way the quicks bowled stump to stump - it's what we spoke about.

"Good conversations, open conversations which are handy. We really tried to nail down the basics, doing the basics really well and just trying to keep it simple, to be honest. A lot of guys can come over here and complicate things in the subcontinent.

"From my past experiences, that's one big message - doing the basics really well, enjoy the challenge and just embrace it. But it's going to come down to bowling well in partnerships throughout this Test series."

Lyon admitted he didn't expect the ball to turn as much as it did right from the first day. Having had considerable success in the subcontinent over the past few years, the 30-year-old said that the ball was coming out of his hand pretty nicely.

"I didn't expect it to spin that much, but Day 1, it was ragging. It was good fun to bowl," he said. "Taking five wickets obviously helps but I think I've really worked hard for the past 24 months or a little bit more than that, really on my subcontinent game.

"I've looked at a lot of footage of Ashwin and all those guys, how they bowl over here and I've had to reassess with the way I approach. I'm happy with where I am at the moment, I'm feeling very confident, the ball is coming out of my hand real nicely.

"Whatever they throw at us, we'll make sure that we're working hard on our games and just controlling what we can control. Not really worried about what they're doing. If we can do what we do best and prepare in the best possible way we can for the first Test, then we're in good shape."

The last time Lyon was in the UAE was in 2014 where he could manage only three wickets at 141 and was carted around the park by the likes of Misbah ul Haq and Younis Khan.

Since then Lyon has snapped up 41 wickets in the last six Tests in Asian conditions looking a much different bowler. Lyon said his conversations with Younis after the Tests series four years back helped him get back his confidence.

"I've had four years, I've had plenty of time to think about it," Lyon said. "I had a good chat to Younis Khan after that series and he said, 'The only reason I sweep is because I don't trust my defence and I'm sweeping your best ball'.

"When you're getting swept, the best ball that you bowl (as opposed to a bad one) is getting swept. I find it a little bit of a weird compliment that you're bowling quite well but you keep getting swept. It can be annoying."

"I know I'm a lot more confident than what I was four years ago as well. The experience I've had in the last couple of Asian tours, hopefully that'll put me in good stead. I know we've spoken about it as spinners, there's no point hiding - I'm expecting them to come out and sweep. It's going to be a good challenge."

The first Test begins on October 7 and will be staged at the Dubai International Stadium.
First Published: September 30, 2018, 12:54 PM IST
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