Nathan Lyon talks about how he made Moeen Ali his bunny during the Ashes series

Nathan Lyon talks about how he made Moeen Ali his bunny during the Ashes series

Australia will play 5 ODI matches against England from June 13.

Nathan Lyon enjoying one of his wickets | Source AFP

Nathan Lyon, the Australian off-spinner disclosed the planning that went onto his mastery against Moeen Ali of England. Nathan Lyon unveils how after an impressive performance in the English county cricket had his dominance over Moeen Ali.

During the Ashes, Lyon had dismissed Ali seven times during the Ashes series. He became the fifth bowler to dismiss a batsman 7 times in a single Test series, as Australia clinched the Ashes Test series by beating England to 4-0. 

As per the off-spinner, only Dawid Malan and James Vince were the players who figured him out and played him the best. The duo will again meet again as  Australians are all set to meet England in the five-match ODI series starting June 13.

Nathan Lyon describes different field set-ups for Moeen Ali always helped him take his wicket. While Moeen Ali was representing England's national side, Lyon obtained some pivotal intel from the teammate of Englishman that he had brought home with himself.

"I remember one comment from (Worcestershire players) Ben Cox and Brett D'Oliveira," Lyon recalled recently to cricket.com.au. "They said 'Moeen Ali will try and hit a spinner out of the game and try and hit a boundary in his first over'.

"If you look back to the fields I had against Moeen Ali (during the Ashes), it was probably not the conventional left-hander's field. I had a deep mid-off, a deep cow corner and a deep square leg. I tried to take his boundary options out of it and see if he wanted to play the quiet game and try and nurdle me around."

"He's an explosive player and I rate him quite highly. It was more of a mental game, to take the big shots out of it and get him defending a lot more balls where he's more likely to make a mistake."

During the first Test in Ashes, Moeen Ali wasted little time in scoring against Lyon. That is the time when Nathan Lyon discussed tactics against Moeen Ali with Steve Smith.

"That's when I said to Steve (Smith) 'let's put a deep mid-wicket out, that'll stop him playing the big shot and we'll see if he wants to do something else'," Lyon remembers.

"And then the success started from there."

This time around as well, the left-arm batsman will face Nathan Lyon from the bowling end. The England all-rounder was seen in comparatively a better form against Scotland in the one-off ODI. 

Nathan Lyon thinks the left-arm batsmen did not change his batting style until Melbourne's Test where the batsmen tried to take the off-spinner. "I didn't feel like he was trying to change his game plan, until Melbourne where he really tried to take me on," Lyon said

"And I thought 'right, this is another challenge of a left-hander coming extremely hard at me on a pretty docile wicket'. It wasn't spinning and it wasn't bouncing so really it should be pretty easy for a batter to take down a guy bowling 85 kms an hour." He added.

On talking about his consistency to take Moeen Ali's wicket, the off-spinner said, "It's not me walking around with my chest out thinking 'how good is this, I'll bowl two balls to him and get him out, don't worry'.

"Everyone has their day. If I do have success of getting someone out a couple of times in a series, it's about going back to the basics and re-living what worked to get them out in the previous games."


By Kunal Kataria - 11 Jun, 2018

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