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Lyon tickled pink with day-night Test

Cricket

Nathan Lyon has fuelled speculation Australia will field two spinners at the Adelaide Test, saying he expects the pink ball to give him and his fellow tweakers an advantage.

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NSW spinner Steve O’Keefe has been added to Australia’s 13-man squad for next week’s first day-night Test, against New Zealand, and could play in tandem with Lyon.

Coach Darren Lehmann is weighing up whether to play two spinners in a home Test for the first time in a decade and Lyon said he and O’Keefe would not disappoint if paired together.

Lyon and O’Keefe were deployed by NSW in last month’s Sheffield Shield game at Adelaide Oval against South Australia in what could be a harbinger of things to come.

O’Keefe is a self-described pink-ball specialist having taken 18 wickets at an average of 18.22 in three day-night matches for NSW over the last three years, including match figures of 2-76 last month.

Lyon said many batsman couldn’t see the seam of the pink ball and it would give him and O’Keefe an advantage.

“It’s perfect. Batters can’t see the seam,” Lyon said on Friday.

“It’s going to be pretty interesting.

“It’s no different for me, bowling with a red ball, white ball or pink ball. I’m not going to change my plan.

“It’s just about getting out there and executing and being consistent.”

Lyon describes himself as a traditionalist who doesn’t like to mess with Test cricket but said next week’s historic match was exciting, especially with days one and two sold out.

However he said it remains to be seen whether day-night Tests are the future with many questions still to be answered, including how the pink ball will perform.

“I haven’t batted against one in a game,” he said.

“Steve Smith declared on me in the Shield game. I’ve no problem picking it up out of my hands!”

– AAP

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