Australian spinner Nathan Lyon said that his performance on the second day of the third Test against India was “up there as one of my career highlights.” Lyon picked up eight wickets to help Australia dismiss India for 163 in the second innings and set themselves a target of 76 runs.
“Personal success is great to have but after (the second Test defeat in) Delhi we had a couple of really good days off as a team, and really good conversations at training,” Lyon said in the post-match press conference.
He also paid tribute to his “very good mate” Steve Smith, who was captaining the side in place of Pat Cummins who went back to Australia to be with his ill mother. With Cheteshwar Pujara threatening to take the match away from Australia with a resolute half-century, Smith took a stunning catch at leg-slip of Lyon to dismiss the Indian batter.
“It was massive. To be honest with you, and this is no disrespect to anyone else in the team, but I don’t think anyone else is catching it. That’s just me bowling from one end and looking up and seeing Steve Smith at slip or leg slip and having that confidence as a bowler,” Lyon was quoted as saying by ESPNCricinfo.
“Yes, he has dropped a couple here and there, but I wouldn’t trade him for anyone. It shows the quality of cricketer he is that we see at training the different methods he is coming up with to try and get better and try and improve. This is someone who has played 95 Test matches. Hats off to Smithy, he did all the work, I’m not surprised but it was a massive moment to finish off the day strongly,” he added.
Meanwhile, India fast bowler Umesh Yadav remained optimistic at the end of day’s play stating that the match isn’t done and dusted despite the low target set for Australia.
“In cricket anything can happen. We will try our best and bowl tight lines. It is not an easy wicket, whether it is our batters or theirs. It is not easy to step out and hit. The ball is keeping low as well, so you can’t be sure about stepping out. The runs are less but we will stick to tight lines and push as much as we can,” Yadav was quoted as saying by PTI.
On Thursday morning, Yadav had hauled India back into the match with an inspired three-wicket spell which included the well-set Cameron Green. Yadav, along with Ravichandran Ashwin, picked up the final five Australian wickets for just 11 runs.
Speaking about his spell, Yadav said, “My plan on this surface was to bowl straight and push for a wicket or two. As a fast bowler, I have to hit the deck hard and bowl in the right areas. I have played most of my cricket in India, my mindset is always to get a wicket.”
“There was seam movement that is why I tried the scrambled seam. If it was not swinging, it was seaming. Whatever length I bowled there was seam movement and skidding after pitching,” he added.
With AFP inputs