Cricket Buzz: Lyon says working on 'Australian' carrom with Murali
Australia spinner Nathan Lyon is coy about the new delivery he has been refining with Muttiah Muralitharan and hopes to unleash on Pakistan in October's Test series, describing it only as an ‘Australian’ carrom ball.
An orthodox spinner who has rarely strayed from his stock off-breaks, Lyon teamed up with Australia's new spin bowling consultant Murali to work on the delivery on a two-day training camp in Sri Lanka this week.
The partnership between Lyon and Murali, who holds the record of 800 Test wickets and was a master of the 'doosra' -- a ball that turns the opposite direction of the off-break - has intrigued cricket fans in Australia.
Local media have speculated that Murali's appointment would include teaching Lyon how to bowl the carrom, a ball that also turns the other way but with spin imparted by the flicking of the middle finger rather than the wristy action of the doosra.
Lyon, however, said he had been working on a different ball with spin coach John Davison long before teaming up with Murali.
"I certainly haven't landed in Colombo and suddenly started bowling a new ball," the 26-year-old said in a Cricket Australia interview.
"I've been working on them for a while now, especially with Davo back home.
"So it's just been good to talk with Murali. We all know how good a bowler Murali was so to have his ideas and feedback about the progression of the ball that Dave and I have come up with has been very helpful.
"It's definitely not the carrom ball," he added. "It's trying to have a different variation, it's a ball that we've come up with working at the spin wicket at the MCC.
"It's an Australian version of that carrom ball, I guess you could say, but hopefully it's going to be a different variation."
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Image: Nathan Lyon
Photographs: Scott Barbour/Getty Images
We'll make life easy for new skipper Amla, says Morkel
South Africa's players are determined to make life as easy as possible for new Test skipper Hashim Amla as they prepare for next month's tour of Sri Lanka, paceman Morne Morkel said on Thursday.
The Proteas play three One-day internationals, starting on July 3, before a two-match Test series.
"It's a bit of a new-look team, a fresh team, but one that has played well," fast bowler Morkel told reporters. "With Hashim now as leader, we are a squad that wants to back him and play well for him to make his job a bit easier.
"That means we need to find our feet as quickly as possible.
It's going to be hot and humid. We need to adapt."
Amla has taken over from Graeme Smith who retired from international cricket in March. He will have One-day skipper AB de Villiers as vice-captain.
Image: Morne Morkel bowls during a South African nets session
Photographs: Chris Hyde/Getty Images