I've been watching Test cricket and remembering it for probably 60 years, and there haven't been too many fingerspinners to do better than he's done", "He was a very shy country kid, almost in awe of the state team. Yesterday at the Gabba, Nathan Lyon became just the 13th Australian to play 100 Test matches for this country. Australian spin great Nathan Lyon has said that the hosts have more surprise in line for Indian batsman Cheteshwar Pujara in the remaining three Tests. In one game they ventured to nearby Cowra with only nine men after a couple of late withdrawals, and came home victorious. Backyard contests took place behind the family home, where a pronounced slope - steeper than Lord's at any rate - meant there was an advantage to be found in spinning it downwards. ', "When the Sixers came down to Melbourne for the BBL, we had a bowl for about an hour. I didn't really consider I'd be in the mix to play, but first training session Darren Berry sat me down and said, 'You're not in this squad to make up the numbers, you're in the squad to play. An ensemble performer and also a fine gully fielder, he could, on occasion, be dominant when conditions suited. In time, Lyon was learning that it was vital to beat batsmen in the air and, by extension, gain bounce, rather than relying on too much deviation from the pitch. One spring afternoon at Drummoyne Oval last year, Berry ventured down from a television commentary stint for a Matador Cup game to chat to Lyon by the boundary. Davison can remember sitting with Lyon during the interval as he coped with the pressure of being the man expected to conjure something from a wearing wicket. "Doubly [unfair] when it is a fingerspinner, if you consider that all fingerspinners, not just Australians, have come here and found it hard work. The Instagram clue hinting that Aussie cricket star Nathan Lyon is about to wed his mistress. I always wanted to do something bigger and better than Brendan, which gave me confidence to bowl offspin. Some kids out in the country don't have all the bells and whistles that a lot of the kids in the city might. Numerous Australian spinners can relate to that experience. We've got to start that education of bowling in different conditions at a really young age.". He's not Warne, he's Lyon. "I kept building up his confidence and told him the things that I thought made him good, because I detected a really confused mind," Berry says. But in the subcontinent he got too high with the loop. The abbreviation stands for Greatest of All Time. I'm all about spin bowling and attacking spin, so I want you to go out there and be brave and back your skill.' Ask Chappell to rate Lyon's achievements in India and Bangladesh this year and he has to think back to Mallett's 1969-70 tour of India for an equivalent by an Australian offspinner. Nathan got his nickname GOAT for surpassing Hugh Trumble’s 141 Test wickets in 2015. Rather than asking Lyon to drop his arm path or try to undercut the ball, they advised him to look closely at the groupings for Herath's deliveries, which emphasise nagging accuracy, a consistent threat to the stumps, and subtle changes in pace and arc. ', "I believe my stock ball will get anyone out in the world in any conditions, but it's about challenging their defence more regularly from different angles, spots and variations. It just shows that you don't have to go through the whole pathway to have skill to play.". Sign up, Join the conversation, you are commenting as Logout. "I was a pretty tiny fella growing up," he says. "Probably because he didn't have a great background of first-class cricket, Nathan was a little bit concerned as to whether he belonged in that environment," Chappell recalls. "One of the things you do find out when you're at the top of the game," he says, "is who your mates are when things are going well but also when things are not going so well. "So I rang Coxy, [SA director of cricket and a national selector at the time] and said, 'Mate, this kid down here is sensational.' Lyon became the 13th Australian to play 100 Test matches this week, a list which only features two other specialist bowlers – Warne and McGrath. Pujara shaped to come forward but had to re-adjust upon realising that the trajectory had changed. New to Kayo? He’s developed into one of cricket’s most celebrated athletes, and only sits behind modern greats Shane Warne and Glenn McGrath on Australia’s all-time wicket tally. O'Keefe, seemingly set to play instead, strained a hamstring in the Sheffield Shield round played between Tests, granting Lyon a reprieve. The single rotated the strike, but not without an anticipatory smile from Lyon - he was gaining control. "I think he outbowled the Indian spinners in India, which is quite an effort. Third over. and they said, 'Nathan Lyon, he's playing for Prospect and he's a groundsman'. Shane Warne has taken aim at Nathan Lyon’s tactics at the Gabba as Australia’s hopes of reclaiming the Border-Gavaskar Trophy quickly evaporated. Away from the backyard, on more level playing fields, it wasn't always possible to gain as much spin from fledgling fingers. His rise to the top is a remarkable story. AUS Vs IND: Nathan Lyon Praises Mohammed Siraj For 'Calling Out Racist Abuse' The Indian team had lodged an official complaint with the ICC after a … Daniel Brettig is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. "Someone said, 'That bloke on the roller is a pretty good offspinner' and I said, 'Who is he?' The next time I saw him he was much improved and had become a little bit more exciting. "There can be a lot of positives from growing up in the country," he says. But Kohli and Vijay batted really well, put on a good partnership. This year, in six Tests, Lyon scooped 41 at 19.39, dominating in a way that showed how enormously he had grown in skill and range since Sri Lanka. I said, 'Mate, my advice to you is: go to the people you trust, whether that's your parents or Davo. Mark Howard sits down with Nathan Lyon to discuss the Australian Test spinner's career and reflect upon his 100th Test match and 400th Test wicket. "It was such an emotional Test too, with the passing of Hughesy [Phillip Hughes]. Darren Berry. Among the clubs in competition for the title of best team in Young, a town in the south-west of New South Wales famed for its cherry crops, Schofield was the king of the Blues. So I walked over to him and said, 'Mate, come and have a bowl' and he was all, 'Oh mate, gotta roll the wickets', but I insisted. "That was where Nathan, basically, was found. They’ve paid $3.8 million for a newly-built townhouse in Tennyson Point, the riverside suburb. At tea on the final day, Virat Kohli and M Vijay were entrenched, eight wickets still in hand, and victory 159 runs away. “I saw him as an 11-year-old at an Orange NSW coaching clinic,” O’Keeffe said on Saturday. ", Redbacks won the Big Bash that season, betting big on Berry's "spin to win" philosophy. Guided in Young by his junior cricket coach, Dave Keenan, Lyon was soon contributing to club success and making representative sides. Of course as Lyon, Berry and Davison were working through these issues, Australia were losing their fourth and fifth Test matches in a row. Watch ‘Nice Garry - The Nathan Lyon Story’ on Fox Cricket after day one of the Gabba Test! "Something Nathan adapted really well from Sri Lanka to India is when guys were trying to sweep him. He batted four and would open the bowling. Lyon is an off spin bowler and a lower-order right-handed batsman. I think Nathan had 1 for 90-odd at tea. Watch Australia v India Test Series Live & Ad-Break Free During Play with the Fox Cricket commentary team. "We were doing a centre-wicket practice session," Berry says. "That just came down to facing my older brother in the nets and learning the game. I always say he was playing for Australia 18 months later, but it was less than 12 months from rolling the wicket at Adelaide Oval! I think as a bowling group you need to do the same thing," Lyon says. John Davison. He'd let him bowl against the tail and gave him chances to get wickets. "I first saw him at Manuka nets," Davison says. Given that Brendan had already chosen legbreaks in games where the brothers would bat and bowl from opposite ends, Lyon reasoned it was best to try spinning it the opposite way. He said, 'Who is he?' To this day, Darren sends me messages about the little things we spoke about, being brave and going out and bowling attacking lines. Someone like Jon Holland for his first Test [in Sri Lanka last year] - they want him to bowl differently to how he's bowled throughout his career. Several inept batting displays had exposed Lyon and other bowlers, and though he was not discarded, the selection of Steve O'Keefe for Adelaide against South Africa gave a pretty strong idea of how close Lyon was to the precipice. Nice Garry - The Nathan Lyon Story. Close. I can sit here and say I believe my stock ball will get anyone out in the world in any conditions, but it's about challenging their defence more regularly from different angles, spots and variations. He probably put a fair bit of that pressure on himself really, but to have some successes and come through the other side has been great for him.". Nathan Lyon and Cameron Green will miss the end of the BBL season as Cricket Australia received border exemptions to return Test players back to their clubs. Having learnt lessons from a whitewash in Sri Lanka, Lyon returned to the subcontinent the following season to take 41 wickets in six Tests "When I moved, I started batting around six, seven or eight in grade cricket, and my bowling started to take more precedence. Chappell says the selectors realised the cycle of spinners tried since Shane Warne's 2007 retirement simply had to end. A combination of brotherly one-upmanship and youth first pushed Lyon towards spin. “I’ve since found out that he was probably too emotional to talk. Nathan Lyon's split with estranged wife Mel Waring was a much talked about affair considering the public nature of it. That's the biggest key in the subcontinent", "He was always looking over his shoulder, because the press and everyone saw him as a stopgap, waiting for the next big match-winning spinner to come along", "I think he outbowled the Indian spinners in India, which is quite an effort. ", Neither Steven Smith nor Lehmann has avoided public criticism of Lyon following defeats. "Rahul Dravid was out here with the India A guys 18 months ago. In Nathan Lyon's childhood, that guy was Dean Schofield, a left-arm quick. Nathan Lyon dismissed Kumar Sangakkara with his first ball on his way to 5 for 34 on Test debut AFP Following the retirement of Shane Warne, Australia went through 11 … The sun beat down on Bengaluru as Lyon pondered how to find a way past Cheteshwar Pujara on day one on a pitch that looked dry but amenable to run-making. Of all Lyon's performances, none stick in the memory quite like the final session of the 2014 Adelaide Test against India. That's a big ask. Though a formal contract wasn't on the table, Lyon ended up finding a job as a curator on the SACA ground staff, giving him proximity to a state side, if not yet a place in any squad. He bowled three, maybe four balls, and I saw the ball come out of an offspinner's fingers with genuine fizz and drift and loop, and thought straightaway, 'This is special, this isn't just a flat offie'. ", Lyon also had a session alongside Daniel Vettori in Brisbane. With just a handful of first-class matches under his belt, Lyon was rushed into Australia’s Test squad for the tour of Sri Lanka in 2011. "I'm able to put more revs on it now, but I had to have the courage to flight the ball up as I wasn't going to necessarily spin the batsman out, so I had to try to do guys in the air.". Greg Chappell. On Today 11:15pm - 11:45pm. We didn't change too much with seam position or line, but with trajectory - just mix one up and four down as opposed to probably 12 up and one down [which is] his repertoire in Australia where he gets bounce. and I say, 'Nathan Lyon', and he goes, 'Oh, yeah', and I said, 'I want to pick him. CANCEL. Lyon also struck up a friendship with Hussey, who mentored him, gravitating naturally to the younger man's respectful persona, spiced with the occasional wisecrack and plenty of love for the dressing room. Called into the attack for the 22nd over of the innings, Lyon started with a mistake - a flat delivery that was too straight, allowing Pujara to work a single through leg. "I think I was about 11 or 12 at the time. Ashwin's bowling, meanwhile, offered an example of the sort of trajectories Lyon needed, coming from a greater height but bowling at a pace and rhythm that dissuaded batsmen from sweeping or jumping down the wicket. © Getty Images. He can point to a couple of hundreds in junior competitions at the Bradman Oval in Bowral. Having been to India and the UAE previously, coming to Sri Lanka in 2016, Lyon had experience others had lacked. and he looked at me and said, 'Chuck, I'm flat', and I said, 'You're kidding me, I've never seen you flat, what's going on? Around this time Lyon also began to work with John Davison, who many will remember for his memorable World Cup hundred for Canada. He still had to find a way in India, however, and during the Big Bash League he spent considerable time with both Berry and Davison. "I remember Mum not being too happy," Lyon says, "but I remember Dad saying, 'If he wants to play cricket he's going to have to learn to face it, so let him go, there's no easy ones. Nathan Lyon's bowling figures were the worst of any home series in his career. Offspinner Gavin Robertson, who bowled at the other end to Warne on the first of those tours, has spoken about the discombobulation of trying to amend an Australian spinner's method in Asia. You haven't lost your talent. Australian off-spinner Nathan Lyon and his partner Emma McCarthy have bought their first home together. Playing a role in that process was Mark Higgs, the former ACT and NSW left-arm spinner, who helped Lyon grow into the sort of spinner others began to notice. ", For Lyon, the exchange was soon followed by the aforementioned tournament at Toorak Park, in which he confirmed Berry's earlier impressions. Smith, who challenged Lyon to adapt, grew appreciably in his admiration this year. 29, (pictured) was spotted flashing what appeared to be an engagement ring as she watched him play his 100th game at the Gabba on Saturday. He defended another flat offbreak down the wicket, before Shaun Marsh dived at midwicket to stop a flick from penetrating a carefully set field. Pujara was … “I said, ‘Dad you won’t believe this’, and he said, ‘What?’ … I said, ‘I’m making my debut’,” Lyon explained. The clock was ticking towards lunch. "Michael was very good in the way he handled Nathan. Remote Record Which set-top box would you like to use? "Higgsy was of the same opinion, that he was bowling around himself. "You can still make sure the guys who are playing have what they need to perform. Record. He just did the basics well, and I think that's held him in good stead throughout his career.". Find out more about our policy and your choices, including how to opt-out. What they put together lifted Lyon to a pair of wondrous Asian tours, and takes him into the Ashes as a standout example of rural resilience, spin bowling skill, and a level of adaptability not even he thought he had. Rather than requiring physical courage, this was a test that needed Lyon to be mentally and technically nimble, aided by a pair of long-time confidants. @danbrettig, Nathan Lyon became only the second non-Asian, after Ian Botham, to take 13 wickets in a Test in Asia, When he cleared his throat to lead "Under the Southern Cross" for the first time last week, Nathan Lyon did so as Australia's undisputed No. Richie Richardson butchered Greg Matthews in Guyana in 1991. That's the biggest key in the subcontinent.". I don't think he felt hugely embraced for a long period of time. I really needed to nail down this offbreak bowling.". But I think those days are well and truly gone!". "He was always looking over his shoulder, because the press and everyone saw him as a stopgap, waiting for the next big match-winning spinner to come along. Pujara did get off strike fourth ball but was again discomfited by bounce before making his one successful sally down the pitch to work a single from the sixth. Starting the home Tests with a pair of barren displays against South Africa, Lyon was fast running out of mates. © AFP. They'd get to him with their feet, and he couldn't understand what was going on. Like most juniors he tried just about everything, from bowling seam-up to keeping wicket to batting. As cricket-loving kids, we all have them, that bigger, older guy who makes life fiendishly difficult. They made him earn it. If country competition had allowed Lyon to try all disciplines, the push to play more senior stuff brought focus. Pic: Getty "He bowled his heart out and at times we let him down in the field and at times balls didn't quite go to hand. What "bowl ugly" evolved into was a way for Lyon to see himself doing the right job for the conditions without sacrificing who he fundamentally was - a tall, "over the top" spinner looking for bounce. 501 FOX CRICKET. Nathan Lyon played a pivotal role in breaching the Edgbaston fortress on Day Five of the first match of the 2019 Ashes. Many doubted him and said, 'I'm not sure about him.' Cricketer Nathan Lyon's girlfriend Emma McCarthy. I've been watching Test cricket and remembering it for probably 60 years, and there haven't been too many fingerspinners to do better than he's done.". We spoke about straightening him up a little bit and he worked really hard at it. "To see him play 100 Tests tomorrow is … Nathan certainly struck us as someone who could be a wicket-taker. The chance to "conquer the game of cricket" is seemingly beyond any player. [But] we're going to face a bit of criticism here for plucking someone from nowhere', but I saw enough in three or four balls to know this bloke is special. Nathan Lyon played a crucial role to help Australia beat England by 120 runs to take a 2-0 lead over England in the Ashes series Down Under at the Adelaide Oval on … I just tweaked him back to confidence more than anything, not so much technical. © AFP. Tim Paine has taken some of the blame for the summer that was meant to celebrate Nathan Lyon turning into the Australian spinner's most frustrating home series. A NOTE ABOUT RELEVANT ADVERTISING: We collect information about the content (including ads) you use across this site and use it to make both advertising and content more relevant to you on our network and other sites. Don't have an account? “All I saw were these two ears and a not very well spun off-spinner, and I suggested tennis. I said to him, 'How you going?' 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