x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

Australia rely on Lyon's share on second day of New Delhi Test

The off-spinner even reckoned the visitors are in a position to win the game after he left the field with figures of five for 94.

A brilliant display of spin bowling from Nathan Lyon dragged Australia back into contention in the fourth and final Test against India yesterday.

The off-spinner even reckoned the visitors are in a position to win the game after he left the field with figures of five for 94 as India closed on 266 for eight - a disappointing total after they had bowled Australia out for 262.

At 108 without loss their pursuit of a series whitewash looked a straightforward one but Lyon then ripped through their lineup to change the landscape, leaving them just four runs ahead going into today's third day.

"We need to bat well tomorrow," Lyon said yesterday. "Even a 100-run target would be difficult to chase on this track. The wicket is going up and down.

"We need to bat well and hopefully get a lead of 150-200 runs. It will help us to put them under some pressure."

The 25-year-old Lyon was revved up after having a leg-before appeal against Cheteshwar Pujara turned down, but he nailed the opener for 52 shortly after.

Then he snared Virat Kohli (one) and should have had Sachin Tendulkar walking when the master batsman was rapped in front of his stumps. He was let off by the umpire, though, and survived through to 32 when the same bowler trapped him lbw.

In between times, Murali Vijay (57) gloved a Peter Siddle bouncer to Matthew Wade and Ajinkya Rahane was caught at leg slip off Lyon.

MS Dhoni came and went for 24, out caught off James Pattinson, before Ravindra Jadeja (43 to Glenn Maxwell) and Ravichandran Ashwin (12 to Lyon on the last ball of the day) also departed. "I love bowling in long spells which I did today," Lyon added. "All five wickets were special to me. Every wicket was special to me."

It was a remarkable turnaround in fortunes for Australia, who fired themselves up on a diet of aggression, which Lyon revealed was Shane Watson's style of leading the side as captain. "Shane told us to get in to the contest, that's one thing which worked for all of us," he said. "I thought he did pretty well today as a captain, motivating all of us."

Lyon was disappointed though with a number of decisions, while Siddle had a number of heated exchanges with the Indian batsmen before receiving a warning for running on the wicket.

Earlier, Siddle, resuming on 47, reached his maiden Test fifty before being bowled for 51 to hand Ashwin his fifth wicket.

Pattinson (30) was the final wicket to fall, the left-arm spinner Pragyan Ojha claiming his 100th Test wicket - in his 22nd Test - by inducing a leading edge which was snapped up by Kohli at slip.

* Press Association