\'\'It\'s a huge Test for Nathan Lyon,\'\' said former Australian offspinner Ashley Mallett.
Canberra: Nathan Lyon could make life difficult for India's veteran batsman Sachin Tendulkar in the four-match Test series starting on December 26 feels former offspinner Ashley Mallett.
"It's a huge Test for Nathan Lyon, obviously, but I just think a good offie worries Tendulkar more than a good leggie," Mallett said.
"He seems to play the ball leaving him a little better than the ball nipping back at him."
Statistics does not seem to suggest so even though Sri Lankan legend Muttiah Muralitharan claimed Tendulkar more than any other bowler in Test cricket.
Muralitharan got Tendulkar out on eight occasions, yet Tendulkar's tally of 1995 runs at an average of over 60 against Sri Lanka suggest it came at a great cost for the off-spinner.
Other than Muralitharan, Tendulkar has been dismissed by a few offspinners during his glittering career but they are few and far between.
Saqlain Mushtaq claimed him twice while Graeme Swann of England has also got his wicket on a couple of occasions.
Pat Symcox of South Africa, who himself claimed Tendulkar twice in Test cricket, drew on his experience to say teams even during his time tended to plot a great deal against the Indian stalwart but they still have not found the way to stop him from scoring runs.
"It's natural that he dominated most of the team talk the night before you started a Test. But there's actually not much you can do if he's playing well," Symcox said.
"It's not as if he's weak outside off stump, or off the back foot - he's strong all over. You just hope that he makes a mistake and gets himself out. He is bloody difficult to get out and his bat always seems so wide.
"One of the things that makes him the phenomenon he is, is that he's been analysed from front to back for so many years, yet he still makes runs," said Symcox.
Lyon has made an impressive Test debut and picked up 22 wickets from seven Tests at 24.59.
Mallett, a former offspinner picked up 132 wickets from 38 Tests at 29.84 in the 1960s and 70s, claims Lyon is the best Australian off-spinner in the last 30 years.
"The Indians will work him, they'll look to work him to the leg side. I just hope the field is set in such a way that they don't get a lot of easy ones and twos, (but) I think Michael Clarke has a better feel for him than other captains I've seen in recent times might have.
"As long as they don't spread the field, if he bowls an attacking line of good, attacking fields, he'll be a real key figure in the series," he said.