Border-Gavaskar Trophy: Lyon, Australia cannot afford one bad session, says Karthik

Indian cricketer Dinesh Karthik believes that Australia’s ceiling in this series depends on the temperament of Nathan Lyon and that the Aussie off-spinner will be under tremendous pressure in this series to deliver a win.

Lyon will lead Australia’s spin bowling against an Indian team that has faced an increasing amount of questions on their ability to play spin bowling. Karthik, though, clarified that it was off-spin particularly that was turning out to be a problem for Indian batsmen.

“Our Achilles heel has not been spin bowling but off-spin bowling interestingly,” said Karthik to Cricbuzz.

He then added, “They have a world class off-spinner in Lyon. You also must understand that he will be under a lot of pressure knowing that he will be the key bowler for Australia to steer the ship in which direction it needs to go. One bad session from his part could mean the Test match is moving in a direction against Australia and that’s a lot of pressure to handle.”

Karthik also compared the spin bowling departments of both teams and said that while Ashwin had the likes of Jadeja and Axar Patel backing him, the Australians didn’t have the same depth and experience in their spin bowling ranks.

“We have to understand Ashton Agar hasn’t played too much Test cricket neither has Mitchell Swepson nor Todd Murphy so a lot has to depend on Lyon to go well. On the other hand, Ashwin has Jadeja and Axar to back him up,” said Karthik.

Karthik also added that the onus was on Lyon to be perfect. Even one bad session by the spinner could take the game away from the Australians. Karthik then cited the example of Shreyas Iyer in a reserve game taking Lyon on.

“Shreyas Iyer literally smacked him in a side game in CCI. When the pressure is there, Lyon will need to stand up. A lot of his temperament and his testament will come to the fore. Even though India hasn’t been playing off-spin well, these matches are going to be in India and we have to trust our ability to play spin which has been part of our heritage and lineage over a period of time,” said Karthik.

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