Off-spinner Nathan Lyon Saturday said he studied India's Ravichandran Ashwin to excel in Indian conditions after his career-best haul of eight wickets helped Australia take opening day honours in the second Test in Bangalore.
Lyon, whose figures of 8-50 became the best by a visiting bowler on Indian soil, wreaked havoc in the final session as India were bowled out for a paltry 189.
Australia were 40 for no loss at stumps with openers David Warner and Matt Renshaw at the crease. The visitors trail India by 149 runs in the first innings.
Lyon, who got the key wickets of India's Virat Kohli and top run-getter Lokesh Rahul (90), eclipsed former South African pacer Lance Klusener's show of 8-64 at Kolkata in 1996.
"Obviously I have studied a lot of what [Indian off-spinner] Ashwin does very well over here. He is the best spinner of the world and if I can learn off him then so good," Lyon told reporters.
"It's finally very satisfying to get some rewards for the hard work that you put in," said Lyon, also giving credit to former Victoria wicketkeeper Darren Berry and Australia spin consultant John Davison.
This was the third successive time in the four-match series that the world's number one Test side failed as a batting unit after they scored 105 and 107 during their opening loss.
But the pitch in Bangalore, which has an average first innings score of 451 in the last seven Tests, seemed to have no demons like the turning track in Pune.
Lyon struck shortly after lunch to get Kohli trapped for 12, as the batsman once again offered no shot to an Australian spinner.
"Interesting wicket. It's what we expected over here. We knew we weren't going to have much grass on the wicket," said Lyon. "I didn't expect so many cracks on day one but they're there. I'll reassess the wicket after both teams bat on it," he added.
Kohli, who had a rare flop in Pune with scores of 0 and 13, faltered again after choosing to pad up Lyon's off-spin that headed straight onto the stumps and was adjudged lbw.
Kohli, who was bowled by left-arm spinner Steve O'Keefe in the second innings of the first Test, wasted a review as the replays agreed with the umpires call and the star batsman walked back with pin drop silence at the ground.
"He is one of the best players of the world. To take his wicket was exceptional but we know it's a long series. We expect him to bounce back. But he is the head of the snake, to put it in Dale Steyn's terms, and if you can take that, the body will fall away," said Lyon.
“It was his mistake today. That ball was nothing special, if you ask me. But Virat is a world class batter, we were lucky today, but we expect him to bounce back. It is a really great day for Australia, and that is what we are focused on,” added Lyon.
SCORES IN BRIEF
INDIA: First innings 189 (Rahul 90, Nair 26; Lyon 8-50, Starc 1-39.
AUSTRALIA: First innings 40 for 0 (Warner 23, Renshaw 15)