Australia’s spin-bowling stalwart Nathan Lyon is relishing the prospect of bowling in the opening Test against the West Indies at Perth beginning on Wednesday, saying playing at the stadium brings out the best in him.
Amid the talk of Australian quicks wreaking havoc, Lyon has shown how potent he can be at the venue, with the off-spinner taking wickets aplenty in the two Tests played at the venue between its opening in 2018 and Western Australia’s borders being closed due to Covid-19 from 2020.
Lyon’s 14 wickets at 15.5 is a testimony of the devastation he can wreak on the dry Perth pitch. “What makes Lyon’s success even more remarkable is the fact his most potent performance came against India – acknowledged masters against spin bowling – in the Stadium’s inaugural Test when his returns of 5-67 and 3-39 earned him player-of-the-match honours,” according to a report in cricket.com.au.
“I’m pretty excited to be honest,” Lyon said in the report on the eve of the inaugural Test against the West Indies. “There’s something about the ground, I love playing there and even walking out there yesterday (Monday) it’s just a nice feeling.
“I used to enjoy bowling at the WACA as well, where you’re able to use the breeze to your advantage and get some drift. Drift and bounce are the big things over here, and they are my biggest weapons.
“There’s obviously not as much breeze at the new stadium with the enclosed stands, but it now becomes a little bit like the MCG where the flags are usually going one way up the top (of the grandstands) but out in the middle it’s going the other way. It tends to swirl a little bit if it gets caught in there.
“I think we’ll need a bit of breeze, it’s supposed to be pretty hot over the next couple of days but I’m really looking forward to getting out there tomorrow.”
The 34-year-old spinner added it is good to be in a side with plenty of fast bowlers as he gets the opportunity to fly under the radar and strike the batters when they let their guard down.
“It’s pretty nice to fly under the radar and watch the big boys (fast bowlers) do their work, and I get to chime in when the opportunity comes up to play my role, which is exactly how I love to play,” Lyon said.