Australia spin spearhead Nathan Lyon has revealed how a ‘weird’ compliment from former Pakistan batsman Younis Khan helped him turn his fortunes around in Asian conditions.

Lyon’s new found mastery in the subcontinental conditions was on show on Sunday as he blew away Pakistan A in the warm-up game.  Lyon took 8 for 103, helping Australia bowl out Pakistan A for just 278. In reply, Australia finished the day on a commanding 207 for 2.

At 106 for 1, Pakistan A were looking set to give Australia a tough day on the field. However, once Lyon managed to break the 82-run stand between Sami Aslam and Abid Ali by making the former edge one to the wicketkeeper, there was no looking back. He went on to dismiss six more players to finish with stunning figures.

I had a good chat to Younis Khan after the 2014 series: Nathan Lyon (Credits: BCCI)

The latest performance has only extended his recent resurgence in Asia. He has now taken six five-wicket hauls in the last six first-class games in this part of the world – a performance that even Lyon would not expected after his horror show in UAE four years ago.

On their last tour of UAE, Australia went down 2-0 to Pakistan. Lyon, on his part, managed just three wickets at an average of 141. The likes of  Misabh-ul-Haq and Younis Khan ruthlessly attacked Lyon with sweep shots.

But Lyon took motivation from those sweep shots to improve his game for these conditions. He revealed how a chat with Pakistan legend Younis Khan helped him understand the art of bowling in this part of the world.

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“I’ve had four years, I’ve had plenty of time to think about it,” Lyon said.

“I had a good chat to Younis Khan after that series and he said, ‘The only reason I sweep is because I don’t trust my defence and I’m sweeping your best ball’,” he recalled.

“When you’re getting swept, the best ball that you bowl (as opposed to a bad one) is getting swept.

“I find it a little bit of a weird compliment that you’re bowling quite well but you keep getting swept. It can be annoying,” he added.

Younis Khan’s compliment was weird: Nathan Lyon (Credits: BCCI)

Well, Lyon has become one of the most dangerous off-spinners on the planet. Last year, he took as many as 41 wickets in just 6 Tests during the tour of India and Bangladesh. He will be looking to deliver a similar kind of performance when Australia start their Test series against Pakistan.

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