AUS vs IND: Lyon will be massive threat for India, says Ponting

The angles the off-spinner can create could pose a “massive threat” for the Indian team throughout the ongoing four-Test series, feels Ricky Ponting.

Nathan Lyon celebrates with his Australian team-mates after the run-out of Virat Kohli on Day One in Adelaide. - GETTY IMAGES

Off-spinner Nathan Lyon reaped the rewards for bowling wide off the crease on Day One of the first Test between Australia and India at the Adelaide Oval, and the angles he can create could be a “massive threat” for the Indian team throughout the ongoing four-Test series, feels former Australia captain Ricky Ponting.

Lyon registered figures of one for 68 from 21 overs at the end of India’s innings.

“He’s had as much success as any spinner, I think, against India over the years. He’s got Virat Kohli out (in Tests) more than anybody in the history of the game, he looked like he troubled [Cheteshwar] Pujara a lot today,” Ponting told cricket.com.au.

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“The right-handers now that come out to bat against him - he gets so much over-spin on the ball when you’ve got fielders around the bat - they must feel like they’re going to get out every ball. He builds pressure, he bowls very few bad balls so he’ll be a massive threat for them.”

Lyon, who has taken 390 wickets in 96 Tests, bowled from wider of the crease to trouble the Indian batsmen, especially Pujara.

“I think it’s more about trying to challenge both edges of the bat,” Ponting said.

“When he creates the angle from wide and angles back in, that really only challenges the inside half of the bat and a glove whereas if he can get it out a little bit wider (off the crease), it brings the catch at slip in play,” he explained.

Ponting said small adjustments make a lot of difference.

“It brings a bat-pad off-side catch into play and if you get the extra bounce, like Pujara’s wicket, you can still get the wicket at leg slip as well. Small adjustments, we’re only talking four or six inches, but it has so much more effect.”