The right-arm tweaker Nathan Lyon bamboozled India on the first day of the second Test match in Bengaluru, as he recorded the best figures ever by a visiting spinner in India to put Australia in a dominating position.
Nathon Lyon collected 8-50 in 22.2 overs at Chinnaswamy Stadium as India bundled out for just 189 after opting to bat first. The 29-year-old is now Australia’s leading wicket-taker in India with 58 wickets, as he surpassed Brett Lee’s previous record of 53 dismissals.
At stumps, Australia had posted 40 for no loss to do no harm to their hopes of retaining the Border-Gavaskar trophy and number one ICC Test rankings.
After winning the toss, the India skipper Virat Kohli understandably opted to bat first on a wicket that seemed more batter-friendly than the surface that used in the first Test match in Pune. India crumbled early on with the dismissal of Abhinav Mukund, who was judged lbw on a pacey Starc inswinger. Just at the stroke of lunch, Lyon struck as he dismissed India’s No. 3 Cheteshwar Pujara, who was held at short leg to hand Australia the morning session of play.
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Virat Kohli, India’s captain and best batsman, gave his wicket away — and a review as well — as he left a delivery that thudded into this pad and was later found to be hitting the middle stump upon forensic evidence. Ajinkya Rihane was out stumped as he charged Lyon down the wicket to hand him his third wicket of the day.
Thereafter, India’s lower order folded cheaply in the face of chaos, as the off-spinner captured 5-10 in his next 38 balls to dismiss Ravi Ashwin, Wriddhiman Saha, Ravindra Jadeja, KL Rahul and Ishant Sharma in one spell.
But KL Rahul stood firm against the run of play, as he scored a fighting 90 on his home ground. Were it not for his resistance, India would have been in far worst position.
In reply, Australia survived 63 minutes unscathed to put themselves in a driving seat at the close of play.
KL Rahul, who top scored with 90, said Lyon made good use of the rough patches Starc and Hazlewood had created early on.
“There’s a big rough (patch) that (quick Mitchell) Starc creates and we know Lyon bowls fast into the rough,” Rahul said after play.
“It can get a little difficult to play him if the balls starts spinning and bouncing. He was really consistent and kept putting the ball there (in the rough) and kept asking questions. He got the rewards this innings. We’ll see what we can do at the second innings, come hard at him and try to find a way to get him away.”
Lyon credited his coaches for the work they have put in and said it is always good to reap the rewards of your hard work.
“A fair bit (of work) if I’m going to be brutally honest,” Lyon said.
“After the tour of Sri Lanka I went home and reflected on that personally and worked very, very hard with John Davison at home. And in the lead-up to the BBL games I was going down to games two hours before and bowling in the nets with John Davison and Darren Berry on separate occasions.
“We really worked on my strengths, and obviously I studied what (India’s top-ranked off-spinner Ravi) Ashwin does very well over here – he’s the best spinner in the world and if I can learn off him then so be it.
“But credit has to go to Darren Berry and John Davison for the work that we’ve put in, and it’s very, very satisfying to get some reward for all the hard work.” he said.
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