Ranchi: Australian off-spinner Nathan Lyon suffered a cracked-skin on his right index finger during the second Test against India in Bengaluru, but he's confident that he will be in the playing eleven for the third Test starting here on Thursday.
Off-spinners historically develop significant calluses (thickened and hardened parts of skin) on the top knuckle of their spinning finger, and Lyon said one such callus was sliced opened on inside of his right index finger during the second innings of the Bengaluru Test.
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The 29-year-old Lyon captured a stunning 8/50 in the first innings to put Australia in charge of the second Test, but finished wicketless when India batted again to take control of the match. He's confident his finger ailment (split callus) will be healed on time for the third Test.
"I have bowled a lot of balls over the summer and it usually happens once or twice a year. It just split. It was pretty painful there for a bit," Lyon said.
"And you can't bowl on (adhesive) tape -- there are rules and laws out there that you can't bowl on tape so I wasn't even considering that," he was quoted as saying in the Cricket Australia website.
"The last time I was here (in India, in 2013), the same thing happened in the third Test and I was able to play three days later. So I'm more than confident in turning out for the next Test."
The ailment restricted him to fitness work and other drills and Lyon said he still has a bit of pain while bowling variations.
"I'm able to bowl cross-seam and stuff, so I can still try to spin it. But for variations and trying to get drift and drop and stuff -- to go at the back of the ball -- the way I bowl, it (the finger injury) does impede it a little bit."
Lyon said he has minutely studied how Ravichandran Ashwin, India's leading wicket-taker in the current series, bowls on the dry and spinning wickets on the sub-continent.
"The way he constructs an over is one big thing. I've been studying the way he bowls to left and right-handers in these conditions. The way he uses the crease, the different shapes he puts on the ball. We're different bowlers, you can tell that when he comes out to Australia."
Another significant difference to Lyon's bowling in the series is the amount of time he has spent coming over the wicket to India's preponderance of right-handed batters. In Australia where bounce represents more of a weapon than spin, Lyon often operates around the wicket to use the increased angle he creates to bring the bat-pad catchers into play.
"It depends on the pitch. The last two pitches I've been able to get good bounce, sharp bounce and fast spin off the wicket as well. If the wicket wasn't doing that as much, then I'd look at the option of coming around the wicket. But it just really depends on the type of wicket."