Posts Tagged ‘Nathan Lyon’

I was running a separate blog for cricket-related matters but because I have decided to collapse the number of my blogs once more so the incredible importance of cricket musings is returning here to The Rant.

My rant is about the selection – and non-selection – of Australian spin bowler, Nathan Lyon.

Nathan Lyon

Nathan Lyon

For the first two Tests of the current Ashes series against England, Lyon was overlooked in favour of rookie Ashton Agar. In his debut, Agar became a sensation after scoring a fairytale 98 while batting at number eleven on debut. And that’s all well and good – except he isn’t in there for his batting but as a spin bowler selected ahead of Lyon. What makes that selection more than a bit puzzling is the fact that he was selected while carrying a finger injury which stopped him from gripping the ball in a normal

Ashton Agar

Ashton Agar

off-spinner’s grip. This detracted from his deliveries, with more over-spin than side-spin.

Why select a bowler who cannot hold the ball properly?

In the Second Test, Agar was injured again, this time on the field before he had bowled a ball, pulling something in his hip from memory. He did limp his way into a few overs and the delivery was definitely improved, suggesting the finger injury from the First Test had improved.

When watching Agar bowl, I have no doubt that this rookie definitely has something. He does have appreciable turn and nice flight. But he is only 19 with next to no experience. So why rush this kid into the team when he has barely even learned the basics yet?

The loser in all this has been Nathan Lyon. But his efforts during the Third Test and the current Fourth Test, about to move into its fourth daywhen he finally took his place back in the team show who, for my money, should have been selected as the primary spin bowler in the first place. He has bowled well, taken wickets and was unlucky not to take more.  Might we have seen a different result with Lyon in the side for the first two Tests in the 2013 Ashes series?

Here we are, shortly to resume play after lunch on the Fourth Day of the First Test, Australia v Sri Lanka.

Things are evenly poised at present but my predicition is for fireworks tomorrow on the last day. As I type, Australia is 2/146, giving a lead of 260. The Australian batters will need to accelerate the pace to put them into a stronger lead but also leaving enough time to bowl Sri Lanka out.

Where I predict things will become interesting will be with Australian off-spinner, Nathan Lyon. I believe he has bowled better so far this summer than his actual statistics show. He has a lovely, flighted delivery that can turn nicely in the right conditions.

This pitc411189-nathan-lyonh is deteriorating with uneven bounce but even more importantly for Lyon, there is a very distinct patch badly scuffed on pretty much the perfect line and length for an offie. My prediction is that Lyon shall lead the bowling on the last day, his bowling becoming hand grenades, turning and jumping from that particular patch on the pitch. But the Sri Lankans have greater experience against spin bowling so fireworks may well be in store.

An exciting last day is definitely on the cards, even with two sessions still to come today.