New Delhi: Reacting to Mickey Arthur's comments on him that he was down on self confidence and needed a technical tweak to his bowling after the Chennai Test, Nathan Lyon shot and asserted that his confidence is anything but dented.
Lyon admitted that he was very expensive in the first Test, giving away 244 runs for just four wickets as Australia lost the contest by eight wickets, but the wicket of Sachin Tendulkar only helped him gaining confidence. "To bowl Sachin Tendulkar through the gate you must be doing something right," Lyon was quoted as saying by the Australian media as the visitors began a two-day break before resuming training for next week's third Test.
"No, I reckon it [confidence] has gone up if anything, bowling the best batsman in the world through the gate. As an offspinner growing up that's what you dream of. My confidence has gone up a level rather than down," Lyon said. "I was quite happy with that. I went for a few runs here and there, but bowling against the best bats in the world in their conditions, they were obviously going to come hard at me playing one spinner in the side."
Lyon, who has been Australia's front-line spinner for the past 18 months, was dropped after the defeat in Chennai and replaced by Xavier Doherty and Glenn Maxwell for the Hyderabad Test, which Australia lost even heavily - an innings and 135 runs.
Lyon also said that he didn't make any changes to his bowling as claimed by the Australian coach. "The technical stuff ... it's all the same, I haven't changed anything from when I first started bowling for Australia since I was 16."
The offspinner said he learned a lot from the thrashing he got from the Indian batsmen, especially MS Dhoni. The Indian captain took Lyon to the cleaners, not allowing him to set at any stage of the match. "Yes, I bowled one maiden in Chennai but they are the best players of spin and that was quite a difficult pitch to bowl on," he said. "It was turning a lot then some weren't turning at all. To have MS Dhoni go off like that was something unbelievable and I have taken a lot out of that. I feel I've grown within myself and learnt a lot about my bowling."
Lyon said the selectors communicated to him about the decision, saying that including Doherty and Maxwell will not only give additional option in bowling but also strengthen the batting. "[The selectors said] just that you are missing out this game and we're going in with Xavier and Glenn Maxwell to strengthen the batting. They just explained to me this was the side they have chosen to go forward in this Test and they will reassess from there.
"I had a good chat with Stuart MacGill before [the Hyderabad] Test match and I got a lot out of that just from talking to a past Australian spinner and having a chat with Shane Warne after Chennai was fantastic."
It will be interesting to see which spinner Australia go in with in the third Test starting in Mohali on March 14 as the PCA stadium pitch tends to favour the seamers more than the spinners.