Nathan Lyon praised after five-wicket haul against India
Nathan Lyon was dropped after the first Test, but showed ability and resolve in Delhi, said Ian Harvey.
Last Updated: 23/03/13 5:48pm
After posting 262 and then seeing India's openers amass 108 without loss, the tourists fought back on day two to restrict their hosts to 266-8 at stumps.
Spinner Lyon took 5-94 from his 22.1 overs and former Australia all-rounder Harvey told Sky Sports the 25-year-old had shown his mettle, after being dropped for a poor display in the first Test.
"For once Australia have got themselves in a decent position," said Harvey, after watching the tourists enjoy one of their best days of a difficult tour which has seen them slump 3-0 behind in the series. "Besides an hour before lunch, Australia have had a decent day.
"Stand-in captain Shane Watson will be very happy with where Australia are sitting at the moment.
"Lyon picked up five wickets, which was brilliant for him and he had a lot of good support from the bowlers at the other end.
"He was the number one spinner when he turned up in India for the first Test match. MS Dhoni had a fantastic first Test, which can happen, and he was dropped for the second. That would have knocked his confidence, so to come out and bowl the way he has here - and he's really put Australia in a strong position - he's shown what he's made of."
Former England batsman Mark Ramprakash was equally impressed with the South Australia tweaker and pointed out adjustments to Lyon's delivery which had led to his success.
"Lyon's natural pace would be slightly slower than he bowled here," explained the ex-Surrey ace.
"For this surface he pushed it through a little bit. It wasn't flat, though, it had that loop and dip and that's where he got the bounce.
"It's very rare in India to see batsmen caught at leg slip but several went past that area, which shows the bounce he was getting.
"So he bowled quicker, he got good turn - and he was very accurate."
With India holding a lead of four runs with two wickets left, the focus will shortly turn to how well Australia can bat second time round. With three days remaining - but a pitch deteriorating rapidly - Ramprakash reckons it could be tricky for the tourists to pace their second innings.
"It should be enthralling on Sunday because both teams will fancy their chances," he said.
"India have just gone past Australia and now all the pressure goes onto the third innings. Australia have got to be careful not to get caught between being too aggressive and losing wickets and going into their shell.
"If India can fight back and bowl Australia out for a low score they'll fancy their chances to knock them off - but the pitch is deteriorating quickly."
Watch day three of the fourth Test live on Sky Sports 2 HD from 3.55am on Sunday