Australia v India fourth Test, day 3: Can Lyon strike at the Gabba?

It has been a lean series for milestone man Nathan Lyon, but can the man with a love for the Gabba strike early on day three? Join the live blog here.

Nathan Lyon’s 100th Test started as a celebration but has suddenly become desperately serious business.

Given he needs just three wickets for 400 in Tests and the Border-Gavaskar Trophy is on the line it could become the favourite week of his sporting life with the ultimate triple treat.

Or will it tease him like cricket so often does?

Lyon was welcomed to the bowling crease like a returning war hero on Saturday and the crowd rose when a ball which had his customary loop and dip enticed Rohit Sharma to slog to deep mid-wicket.

Lyon has a quirky connection with Brisbane which goes back to the Gabba Test against Pakistan in 2016 when there was a push to drop him and play four quicks.

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It never came off but the locals felt sorry for him regardless and raucously cheered him throughout the match, bolstering his ruptured self-esteem along the way as it was playfully claimed he was more popular than the Brisbane Lions.

Lyon has tried to stay very much in the moment in this match. He batted with a blissful freedom that left his top order red-faced for 24 off 22 balls and at various stages of the match has applauded the crowd for applauding him. He looks like a man trying to soak it all up.

The Gabba groundsmen gave former groundsman Lyon the perfect 100th Test present, a wicket which is cracked and dry and should turn more as the match progresses.

“It’s a lot drier than it usually is,’’ Lyon told Fox Cricket.

Aus v Ind: Day 2 Highlights

“It was probably more like a day three wicket (on day one) and there’s a nice crack outside the off-stump that I’m trying to aim at.

“I love bowling here. It’s one of my favourite grounds to play at.”

It is indeed. Unlike many off-spinners Lyon imparts his spin by coming over the top of the ball rather than cutting his fingers across it and the overspin gets its best results on bouncy decks like Brisbane.

But nothing against this Indian side comes easily.

They play spin well and have adopted a policy to both attack Lyon this series and wear him down, knowing the more overs he bowls the less snap and crackle he will have in his wrist, shoulders and fingers.

They have won the battle so far but the war is far from over.

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