The placid surface at the Narendra Modi Stadium has thrown up challenges for the bowlers on the first three days of the fourth and final Test, with India looking comfortable at 289 for three in reply to Australia’s 480 in the first essay.
With Shubman Gill and Virat Kohli hammering a 128 and a half-century, respectively, the Australian bowlers could only claim three wickets on Saturday.
But Nathan Lyon still has hope. The Aussie spin spearhead believes that his team is very much in the game, with the home team still trailing by 191 runs.
“Where are we in the game? I think it’s pretty even to be honest with you. We know in this part of the world, games can speed up quite quickly, so it’s about being patient for long periods of time and not chasing the game,” Lyon said.
In the third Test in Indore last week, he claimed three wickets in the first innings and followed it up with a eight-wicket haul in the second to hand India an embarrassing nine-wicket defeat. But those were different times.
For Lyon, it’s a game of patience in Ahmedabad.
“It’s more of a patient game. When the pitch is like Indore... I felt like I bowled better today than what I did in Indore. And it’s just coming down to doing your basics well enough for long enough…”
With two days of cricket remaining, Lyon hopes for a ‘new day’ when action begins on Sunday.
“Tomorrow is a new day. We had [89 overs] on that wicket today. With the warmer weather here, hopefully there’s still a result in this game. We’ve just got to bowl well in the morning and get the pressure in their change room…” he said.
“Over here what I’ve learned, the black soil seems to hold together a lot better than the red soil. There’s not an overly great deal of foot-marks out there to hit for spinners. We may see it start to go up and down a little bit more. I was even talking to Starcy (Mitchell Starc), he’s putting in a lot of effort and the ball just seems to be stopping in the wicket,” Lyon said after finishing with one for 75 from 37 overs in challenging conditions.
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