It’s no doosra, but spin great Muttiah Muralidaran has revealed his newest pupil Nathan Lyon will be ready to unleash the “carrom ball” delivery on Pakistan in the UAE.
Muralidaran will be sending down doosra after doosra to the Australian batsmen in the nets as part of his new role as a coaching consultant for the tour in October.
But he maintains the mystery delivery that made him the No.1 Test wicket-taker of all time is too difficult to teach Lyon.
Instead, the pair are in Sri Lanka working hard on the finger-spinning carrom ball – and Muralidaran believes Lyon will be able to use it as a weapon against Pakistan.
Few players have copped as much abuse from Australian cricket fans over the years as Muralidaran – due to his controversial bowling action.
Even (then) prime minister John Howard labelled Muralidaran a “chucker”.
But the Sri Lankan legend says there’s no hard feelings and he’s not surprised Darren Lehmann has approached him to help the No.1 Test team get even better.
Having opened his bag of tricks to Lyon, Muralidaran says the 26-year-old is the long-term answer for Australia.
“For a country like Australia, you don’t need many spinners. You need to get the right one. I think Nathan Lyon is the answer – for any format,” he said.
“He spins the ball and he’s confident and he has taken more than 100 wickets in Test cricket. He’s proved himself.
“The doosra is very difficult to teach because he’s a finger spinner and I’m a wrist spinner.
“We’re trying something else – the carrom ball.
“I think he’d be ready and bowl that in the UAE, but he’ll master it in years to come.”
Australia’s struggles in sub-continent conditions prompted Lehmann and Michael Clarke to make contact with Muralidaran through his friend and Australian team physio Alex Kountouris.
The 42-year-old will assist Australia’s batsmen by bowling to them in the nets – preparing them for Pakistan’s doosra master Saeed Ajmal.
Muralidaran says he never had an issue with Australia as a country, and sees his short-term role as just another chance to put back into the game.
“I don’t have any hard feelings because of what has happened,” he said.
“That … (was) all about individuals only that shouted at me – that is a different case.
“The Australian public was always kind to me – maybe five per cent were against me.
“I didn’t have any hatred on anybody.”