Nathan Lyon compares Indian cricket team captain Virat Kohli to ‘snake’s head’ | cricket | Hindustan Times
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Nathan Lyon compares Indian cricket team captain Virat Kohli to ‘snake’s head’

Nathan Lyon, who took a career-best eight wickets for 50 runs on day 1 of the second Test in Bangalore, said Virat Kohli’s wicket was ‘exceptional’

cricket Updated: Mar 05, 2017 09:13 IST
N Ananthanarayanan & Sayan Ghosh
Australian players successfully appeal for the wicket of India's captain Virat Kohli in Bangalore on Saturday. Nathan Lyon got the all-important wicket of Kohli, who fell for 12. India were all out for 189.
Australian players successfully appeal for the wicket of India's captain Virat Kohli in Bangalore on Saturday. Nathan Lyon got the all-important wicket of Kohli, who fell for 12. India were all out for 189.(REUTERS)

Australia all-rounder Nathan Lyon produced a masterclass of spin bowling in the second Test against India on Saturday and then said he had drawn a lot by watching his Indian counterpart Ravichandran Ashwin bowl in sub-continent conditions. (DAY 1 HIGHLIGHTS | SCORECARD) (DAY 2 BLOG)

Nathan Lyon produced a superb bowling display as India were bundled out for 189 on Day 1 of the second Test match in Bangalore on Sunday.

India skipper Virat Kohli was among his victims, trapped leg before attempting to leave a delivery. His failure for the third innings in a row in the series gave Lyon and Australia a firm grip, which they tightened by stumps.

Virat Kohli waiting for third umpire’s decision in Bangalore on Saturday. (BCCI)

Lyon, asked to describe the dismissal, gave a snake analogy.

“Definitely pleasing,” he told the media when asked about Kohli, who was out for 12, after being dismissed for 0 and 13 in the first Test in Pune.

“You want to compete against the best players in the world and Virat is one of the best. To take his wicket was exceptional. What we know is this is a massive series, a long series.

Virat Kohli compared to a snake head

“Virat is a world class batter so we expect him to bounce back. But he is the head of the snake, to put it in Dale Steyn’s terms, and if you can take that, the body will fall away. It was pretty pleasing to take Virat’s wicket.”

He was modest when asked about the dismissal, to a delivery that didn’t turn as much as the India skipper expected as he took his bat away.

“It was his mistake today. That ball was nothing special, if you ask me. But Virat is a world class batter, we were lucky today, but we expect him to bounce back. It is a really, really great day for Australia, and that is what we are focused on.”

It was yet another dismal batting performance by the Indian batsmen as KL Rahul (90) was the only one to offer any resistance and on a turning track, they looked quite helpless against the Aussie spin duo of Nathan Lyon and Steve O’Keefe.

Nathan Lyon betters Brett Lee

The 29-year old off-spinner ended up with figures of 8/50 to become the most successful Australian bowler against India. Lyon (58 wickets) surpassed the previous record holder – Brett Lee- when he dismissed Ravichandran Ashwin to claim his fourth wicket of the match.

Australia's Nathan Lyon celebrates the wicket of India's captain Virat Kohli. (REUTERS)

The figures of 8/50 was also the best bowling performance by any overseas bowler in India bettering South Africa all-rounder Lance Klusener’s 8/64 at the Eden Gardens in 1996.

Nathan Lyon also proved his control over the Indian batsmen as the off-spinner took the wickets of skipper Virat Kohli and Cheteshwar Pujara for the fifth time in his career -the most by any bowler. He also dismissed out-of-form Ajinkya Rahane for the fourth time in his career.

It was a truly special performance by Nathan Lyon on Saturday and if the spinner can claim a 5-wicket haul in the second innings, he will go past Steve O’Keefe to claim the best bowling figures in a match in India by an Australian bowler.

Lyon said: “I don’t need to prove to anyone else in the world. I’m good enough to compete against the best…I was lucky today to bowl in great partnerships at the other end. I was the lucky one today, I guess.”

It was left-arm spinner Steve O’Keefe’s 12-wicket haul in Pune that set up a 333-run win for Australia, and this time Lyon took the lead.

Virat Kohli looks on as Australian captain Steve Smith celebrates his dismissal in Bangalore on Saturday. (PTI)

Lyon said he worked with his mentor, John Davison, a former Canada all-rounder, who bowls off-spin and is a spin coach with Australia, and Darren Berry, who is an assistant coach with BBL team Sydney Sixers, for whom Lyon plays.

“(I worked) a fair bit, to be honest. After the tour of Sri Lanka (Australia lost 3-0 last year) I went home and worked really hard. Leading up to the BBL games, I was bowling with John Davidson and Darren Berry on separate occasions. “

Lyon had spoken of watching videos of Ashwin bowl going into the series.

He said: “I studied a lot of what Ashwin does. He is the best spinner in the world, and if I can learn a bit from him, so be it. But credit goes to Davidson and Berry for the work they put in. I find it very very satisfying to get some reward for the work put in.”