It was a day of twists and turns in Indore as Australia fought back against India in the third Test match. The hero of the day was none other than veteran spinner Nathan Lyon, who completed a brilliant eight-wicket haul to put his side in a commanding position.
Nathan Lyon’s Performance
Lyon’s performance was nothing short of spectacular as he picked up the crucial wickets of India skipper Rohit Sharma, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ravindra Jadeja, Srikar Bharat, Ravichandran Ashwin, Umesh Yadav, and Mohammed Siraj in the second innings.
Lyon’s haul not only helped Australia take control of the match, but also saw him pip India legend Anil Kumble to become the highest wicket-taker in India-Australia Test matches.
But Lyon didn’t stop there. He also became the most successful spinner against India in Test cricket, surpassing Sri Lanka legend Muttiah Muralitharan with the wicket of Shubman Gill. Lyon’s eight-wicket haul was instrumental in giving Australia a glimmer of hope of beating India in the third Test, provided they can avoid another batting collapse.
On a dramatic day two in Indore, Australia’s batting imploded, only for Lyon and the rest of the bowlers to fight back and bowl out India for just 163, giving them a victory target of 76. Pujara was the only Indian batsman to provide any resistance, top-scoring with 59, before being caught brilliantly at slip by Australia captain Steve Smith off Lyon’s bowling.
Australia had resumed on 156-4 but collapsed to 197 all out before lunch, with Lyon and Peter Handscomb doing well to survive the first hour on a pitch with unpredictable bounce. But after the drinks break, the collapse began, with Handscomb departing for 19 and Green falling for 21. The rest of the Australian batsmen failed to make any impact, with Lyon being cleaned up by Ashwin for just five.
India sensed their chance and openers Rohit Sharma and Shubman Gill survived a tricky 10 minutes before lunch. But Lyon had other ideas, as he bowled Gill for five and trapped Rohit lbw for 12. Kohli looked to take on Matthew Kuhnemann, cutting the spinner for a glorious four, only to be trapped lbw the following ball for 13.
Pujara battled on, making the Australians work hard before captain Smith took a brilliant diving catch to his right at slip off the bowling of Lyon. The very next ball, Umesh Yadav was given out lbw off Lyon but was reprieved on review.
The ball after that, Umesh slogged to the boundary where he was caught just inside the rope by Green. Lyon clean bowled Mohammed Siraj to give the Australian his eighth scalp, and the hapless Indian number 11 his second duck of the match.
It was a day of highs and lows for both teams, but Lyon was the standout performer. His record-breaking performance will go down in the history books and will be remembered for years to come. As the third Test match continues, all eyes will be on Lyon to see if he can continue his impressive form and lead Australia to victory.