India vs Australia: 'I don't understand,' Shane Warne questions Nathan Lyon's tactics against Cheteshwar Pujara
Australia spin bowling legend Shane Warne on Tuesday questioned Nathan Lyon's strategy against India batsman Cheteshwar Pujara. Pujara along with Shubman Gill stitched a solid 114-run stand to help India take control of the final day of the fourth Test at Gabba.
Speaking on Fox Cricket, Warne said that Lyon should have a bat-pad on the off-side against Pujara as the spinner had got the India batsman out with this strategy before.
“Here’s a guy who has played 100 Tests, he has bowled enough balls to Pujara, he knows how he has got him out on the off-side with a bat-pad, he knows how it changes his game, so why on earth would you not have one?” Warne said.
“Normally what would happen, Tim Paine the captain would come up and say what field do you want, and then the bowler would say what sort of field he wants because that’s how he’s trying to get him out.
“Then the captain would say have you thought about the bat-pad on the off-side or do you want catching mid-wicket and the bowler would say no, this is the field that I like. Then generally the captain would go with that.
“This is not a Tim Paine issue, this is more a Nathan Lyon issue. But as a captain with Tim Paine, I would say ‘now Nathan you sure you don’t want to start with a bat-pad on the off-side?’
“This is where bowlers and captains can have a bit of an argument. Because the bowler wants the field he wants.
“I’m sure Tim Paine is saying why aren’t we having a bat-pad on the off-side. If Nathan Lyon doesn’t get him out early, he’s had five overs now, this is where Tim Paine can say look, it’s not working, we’ve got 20 minutes til lunch, can we try plan b and have a bat-pad on the off-side. I’ve given you what you like, lets’ try this now.”
“I can’t come up with a reason, because there isn’t one for not having one – a bat-pad on the off-side. I don’t know. I wish I could say to you this is the reason why but I can’t come up with anything,” he added.
“I’d like to think I know a little bit about spin bowling and I was quite successful at it, and I have watched Nathan Lyon for a long period of time and talked to Nathan Lyon about the bat pad on the off-side to Pujara and he says he feels he can’t bowl as wide.
“But then he put him in Adelaide and he knocked him over and he looked a completely different player and he said you’re right. So why does he not have one today? That’s what I don’t understand. Because he knows it works.
“He has admitted it works but he hasn’t got one today. So Nathan Lyon, with the chats I’ve had with him, feels like he can’t bowl wide enough with a bat pad on the off-side.
“Maybe the only thing I could think of is Nathan Lyon wants to bowl straighter at middle and leg stump but to me that is a negative tactic.
“You’ve only taken one wicket in the first session and you need to get Pujara out because he takes time and when you have got Pujara out you’ve had a bat-pad on the off-side, that’s why it doesn’t make sense that he hasn’t got one," the former Australia leg-spinner signed of
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