Australia Test spinner Nathan Lyon backs Justin Langer, weighs in on India vs England pitch
Nathan Lyon would love India’s chief curator to be put in charge of the SCG, declaring the much-maligned pitch in Ahmedabad was brilliant and he is perplexed by those “crying” about spin-friendly surfaces.
India crushed England by 10 wickets in a pink-ball match that spanned just 842 balls, making it the shortest completed Test since 1934.
The result has reignited debate about home-ground advantage.
Former England captains Andrew Strauss, Alastair Cook and Michael Vaughan criticised the pitch prepared by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI)’s chief groundsman Ashish Bhowmik, while the tourists are considering whether to lodge a formal complaint to the International Cricket Council.
Lyon pointed to the fact that Jack Leach was the visitors’ sole frontline spinner when asked about the reaction to the pitch.
“The best thing about this Test match that just passed is that England went in with four seamers,” Lyon said.
“That will do me. I don’t need to say any more.”
Lyon, who worked as a curator before starting his 100-Test career, was captivated by the carnage created by fellow offspinner Ravichandran Ashwin and left-arm tweaker Axar Patel.
“I was up all night watching it,” he said.
“It was absolutely brilliant. I’m thinking about bringing that curator out to the SCG.
“We play on seaming wickets around the world and get bowled out for 47, 60. Nobody ever says a thing (about the pitch).
“But as soon as it starts spinning, everyone in the world seems to start crying about it.
“I don’t get it. I’m all for it, it was entertaining.”
The result was a major blow to Australia’s hopes of sneaking into the Test championship final.
Tim Paine’s team will contest the mid-year final at Lord’s if England win their fourth Test against India, which starts at the same venue on Thursday.
Any other result will mean Australia’s next Test won’t come until next summer.
The long wait comes as national coach Justin Langer admits he was disappointed to read rumblings of player discontent in a newspaper report, noting on Perth’s SportFM he had “talked for years about honest conversations”.
“Me personally, if I had a problem with JL I’d go straight to him,” Lyon said.
“But I don’t have a problem with him. I don’t understand where it’s all coming from.
“I’d like to think anyone in that change room or anyone at Cricket Australia or outside - if anyone has a problem with anyone, we’re about being honest with each other.”
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