If one take a closer look at Australian off-spinner, Nathan Lyon, then it is hard to ignore that the 28 year-old has had a serious makeover since the end of the Australian summer. Much of the credit goes to the preparatory camp in Dubai where he bowled close to 1200 deliveries. And now Lyon is deservedly reaping all its benefits.
Lyon exploits with the ball has made everyone sit up and take notice including his inspiration, R Ashwin. Lyon himself admitted to tweaking his action and approach to imitate the world’s leading spinner, India’s R Ashwin. And it seems like the offie has now managed to go one notch higher than his counterpart.
Lyon extracted tremendous bounce from the M. Chinnaswamy pitch as the Indian batsmen were found wanting. Ashwin on the other hand did not manage to do extract that much amount of bounce.
A comparative analysis at the two reveals that Lyon, who has a more conventional action, uses a lot more of his body. Primarily his upper body. He is a lot more side on as compared to Ashwin who is a lot more open chested. Another factor is the much bigger pivot for Nathan Lyon which results in the transfer of his bodyweight into the ball resulting in more bounce. While Ashwin on the other hand relies on finger spin with lesser body weight transfer. Another aspect is Lyon imparts more revolutions on the ball than Ashwin. Hence, the combination of bodyweight with more revolutions gets the ball to kick of the surface.
It may be recalled here that Lyon’s 8/50 in the first innings of the second Test in Bengaluru helped the visitors bowl out India for 189. While Ashwin picked up only 2 wickets in Australia’s first innings.
But as far as numbers are concerned 30-year-old, R Ashwin is way ahead of Lyon. He has already bagged 24 five-wicket hauls in just 84 innings. While his average is brilliant as he goes for just above 25 runs per wicket.
Lyon, on the other hand, does not have such daunting numbers. He has a good strike rate of 63.89 but he remains far behind Ashwin in every aspect.