Cricket

Lyon admits Oz outclassed by Sri Lanka

2016-08-08 13:05
Nathan Lyon (Getty Images)

Galle - Underfire Australia spinner Nathan Lyon admits his side have been totally outplayed in their series defeat to Sri Lanka and must learn fast to secure a consolation win.

Despite the world's top-ranked side hiring the legendary Sri Lankan spinner Muttiah Muralitharan as a consultant for the tour, Australia's spinners have struggled to adapt as their side lost the first two Tests of the three-match series.

The 28-year-old Lyon has managed just nine wickets in four innings and faced criticism from his coach Darren Lehmann and skipper Steve Smith.

Sri Lanka's spinners took 18 of the 20 Australian wickets to fall in the second Test in Galle. By contrast Australia's leading bowler was pace spearhead Mitchell Starc with 11 wickets.

Lyon admitted he and fellow slow bowler Jon Holland had not asked enough questions of the Sri Lankan batsmen and had to improve in the final Test which starts on Saturday in Colombo.

"You've got to give credit where credit's due. They've totally outplayed us," said Lyon.

"There's a lot of room for improvement, especially from myself I dare say," Lyon told reporters on Sunday.

"It's now up to us to say no excuses, full stop, and go out there and get better and put in a good performance come the third Test," added Lyon, who is the only Australian offspinner to have taken 200 Test wickets.

Australia's cause was undermined when Lyon's spin-bowling partner Steve O'Keefe had to return home after the first Test defeat in Pallekele with a pulled hamstring, paving the way for Holland's debut in Galle.

"As spinners, we need to keep hitting the stumps ... I don't think 'Dutch' (Holland) and myself probably did that to the best of our ability," said Lyon as he reflected on the 229-run defeat in Galle.

"I think your mindset needs to change over here. It's a hard place to play cricket. But I am learning to bowl better in the sub-continent.

"If we can keep improving, keep learning from our mistakes in the first two Test matches then we're going the right way."

While Australia's spinners looked ordinary in Galle, their Sri Lankan counterparts were the standout performers with Dilruwan Perera taking 10 wickets in the match.

Read more on:    nathan lyon  |  cricket
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