Sri Lankan superstar Muttiah Muralitharan exclaimed that he is giving much stress on a new type of delivery for Australia‘s top spinner Nathan Lyon and expecting it to be inch perfect for their series against Pakistan.
The world’s leading and most renowned Test wicket-taker has been helping Lyon in Colombo training and this week he agreed terms with Australian board to join the Australian coaching team more formally for the showdown with Pakistan in the United Arab Emirates in October.
The 42-year-old said that mastering the trick of the ‘doosra’, a delivery of his that baffled batsmen for years, is very much difficult to master for a conventional finger spinner such as Lyon.
Instead of mastering ‘doosra’ they are working on a variation of the “carrom” ball, which has been famously employed by India’s Ravichandran Ashwin in recent times.
The magic of the ball is that it can be flicked from the front of the hand to go straight on but can spin like a leg break in the right conditions.
“Teaching Doosra is very much difficult so we are trying something else like ‘carrom ball’,” Muralitharan said on the Cricket Australia [CA] website.
“Lyon is mainly finger spinner, and I am mainly a wrist spinner so for me to change the wrist position is easy”
“But for a finger spinner to change direction and to bowl a doosra is very much difficult. So the easiest way for the finger spinners is to learn about the carrom ball.”
The Sri Lankan master was praising about Lyon very much, who has established himself as Australia’s number one spinner and recently surpassed the 100 Test wickets milestone.
“In a country like Australia you don’t need many spinners, and it is very much important to choose the right one,” Muralitharan said.
“I think Nathan Lyon is the best for any format”
“He spins the ball, he’s confident about the game and he has done well — he has taken more than 100 wickets in Test cricket and has proved his capability. So Australia has to persevere with him.”
While Muralitharan is helping Lyon, another key task is assigned to him by CA is to help their batsmen handle Pakistan’s spinners on what are expected to be slow, turning pitches.
“The only thing I can do is that I’m still good and fit enough to bowl my deliveries well, which is what I’ve been doing for the last couple of years while playing Twenty20 cricket, so I’ll bowl to those batsmen and it’s not a difficult task for me,” he said.
“Myself and Ajmal are pretty much similar with bowling off-spin, so they might learn from batting in the nets part of what I’m trying to teach them,” he added, on his reference to Pakistan’s Saeed Ajmal, who is among the game’s most potent mystery spinners.
Pakistan forcibly has to play their home series at neutral venues, such as the UAE, since militants attacked the Sri Lankan team in Lahore in 2009. So due to safety reasons this step is taken.