Image courtesy of: cricket.com.au
Australia all-rounder Steven Smith has revealed that spinner Nathan Lyon’s new mystery ball, which is known as the ‘Jeff’, is coming along very well.
Smith’s comments come after he faced a few of Lyon’s new mystery deliveries in the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG) nets.
“He’s bowled me the ‘Jeff’ a few times in the nets,” Smith told cricket.com.au. “It’s still a work in progress for him. He’s told me that he’s got to gain the confidence to be able to bowl it in a game, but every time he’s bowled it, it’s come out pretty well.
“It’s a key for him to keep working on it and get it to the stage where he’s confident he can land it nine out of ten times and be able to execute it well.”
Smith also backed Lyon to do extremely well in the upcoming ODI tri-series against Zimbabwe and South Africa.
“I think he was very surprised,” Smith said. “He’s worked really hard and bowled really well in the games of Big Bash he played last year and in the Ryobi Cup as well.
“I’m certainly not surprised. I had a hit against him this morning and he pulled the white ball out for the first time in a while. He bowled really well and I’m looking forward to him playing, and hopefully doing well, too.”
Lyon developed the ball when he spent five days in Sri Lanka in June with legendary spinner Muttiah Muralitharan, who is now Australia’s spin consultant.
“(The camp) ticked a lot of boxes for me, so now I’m looking forward to getting home and hopefully putting a few things into practice,” Lyon said. “It’s just been good to talk to Murali. We all know how good a bowler Murali was, so to have his ideas and feedback about the progression of the ball that ‘Davo’ (Davison) and I have come up with, it’s been very helpful.”
Lyon also revealed that he had been working on the ‘Jeff’ for some time now.
“I certainly haven’t landed in Colombo and suddenly started bowling a new ball,” he said. “It’s a big help having Murali though.
“It’s definitely not the carrom ball (that I’m working on) – it’s trying to have a different variation. So it’s a ball that we’ve come up with working in spin week at the NCC (National Cricket Centre).”