Nathan Lyon, the Australian offspinner, has backed the side’s under-fire bowling line-up and noted the chastening experience of being smashed around in the ongoing ODI series against England would serve as a learning curve for the inexperienced line-up.
Australia have slipped to one defeat after another as they find themselves on the brink of a 5-0 whitewash, with the side taking on the hosts in the final ODI of the series at Old Trafford,on Sunday (June 24). The bowlers, in particular, have come in for sharp criticism for their lack of incisiveness. The visitors’ problems with the ball can be capsulised by the point that England have amassed totals of 342, 481 (record ODI score) and 314 for 4 in the series.
“I think it’s been a great learning curve and opportunity for all the bowlers,” Lyon said in Manchester on Saturday (June 23). “It’s been great for them to learn to perform under pressure because playing in a World Cup – what I want to do, what everyone else in this squad wants to do – that’s what you’re going to come up against, being under pressure. To compete and perform under pressure, that’s the biggest thing,” he added.
Australia have also been hit by the fact that three of their main bowlers – Josh Hazlewood, Mitchell Starc and Pat Cummins – are missing from the action due to injuries. In their absence, the inexperienced pace attack comprising Kane Richardson (17 ODIs), Jhye Richardson (4 ODIs), Billy Stanlake (5 ODIs), Michael Neser (2 ODIs) and Marcus Stoinis (17 games) have struggled to step up and perform. On the other hand, the spin duo of Lyon and Ashton Agar has combined to pick up just four wickets.
Lyon, on his part, said that he has been trying to mentor the spinners in the set-up. “If I can hopefully share my experiences, that can help turn their learning around quicker. I’ve been able to sit down with Ashton and Travis (Head) and D’Arcy Short and Maxi (Glenn Maxwell) and just talk about spin bowling. It probably has been a big mentoring role in that side of things. I’ve enjoyed doing that part of it, and I feel like it helps my game as well, talking about spin bowling.”
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