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Test match tactics working well for Lyon as Australia eye sixth World Cup triumph

Australia's Nathan Lyon celebrates taking the wicket of New Zealand's James Neesham

The Test match approach is working wonders for Nathan Lyon after helping spin Australia to their seventh victory of the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup.

  • Nathan Lyon offered Australia control with 17 dot balls in his spell against New Zealand
  • Australia have already booked their place in the semi-finals ahead of their final group game with South Africa

The off-spinner has had to bide his time in England with selection against New Zealand just his second game of the tournament, figures of 1/36 seeing him concede just two boundaries at Lord’s.

Destructive it may not have been in Australia’s overall performance – bowling New Zealand out for 156 – it proved nearly priceless.

Lyon bowled 17 dot balls in his first five overs and that style of five-day cricket control ultimately proved a handful, leaving the likes of five-wicket star Mitchell Starc to run through the Black Caps batting unit.

“There’s a lot of belief in the squad, you’ve got some world-class bowlers and we’ve always tried bowling in partnerships, whether that’s Test or one-day cricket,” he said.

“If you could build pressure from both ends it gives us great belief, but we know there’s lots to build on too.

 “I know where my place and role is in ODI cricket, I’m happy with the way the ball is coming out but saying that I know there is still room for improvement.

 “I don’t have a bat-pad or leg slip the whole time, but it’s a mindset thing – we’re working together in partnerships and when you have those type of guys in there, it’s about using them well.”

 Just one defeat in eight matches this tournament has taken Australia to the top of the standings with a solitary group match remaining.

 Yet the feeling around the camp is that more is to come from the defending champions, particularly when it comes to building for the semi-finals.

 The perfect combination is yet to be found with ball in hand in particular, though it was those who had yet to shine with the bat so far this World Cup that made victory possible.

 Alex Carey and Usman Khawaja both made half-centuries as Australia fought their way to 243/9, with openers Aaron Finch and David Warner uncharacteristically falling short in the first ten overs.

 “It was a very impressive win there but to be honest there’s a lot of work we still need to keep improving on, we’re still searching for that perfect performance,” added Lyon.

 “The way Alex has been hitting the ball throughout the whole tournament has been really impressive.

“We were 92/5 but they fought their backsides off and gives our whole batting line-up confidence, we missed out up top but the two were absolutely exceptional.

 “We’re still looking for that performance and we know there’s some work to be done, we’ll have a rest for a couple of days then hit training hard against a big game in South Africa.”

©Cricket World 2019