Australian spin bowler Lyon said on Friday his work with Muralitharan has been hugely beneficial and can only make him a better bowler. (AFP Photo)
Australian spin bowler Nathan Lyon said on Friday his work with Muttiah Muralitharan has been hugely beneficial and can only make him a better bowler.
The world's leading Test wicket taker has been helping Lyon in Colombo and has agreed to join the Australian coaching team more formally for their series against Pakistan in the United Arab Emirates in October.
Muralitharan has spent time with Lyon working on a bowling variation that would turn in the opposite direction to his regular delivery.
It is reportedly a variation of the "carrom" ball, employed recently by India's Ravichandran Ashwin, which can be flicked from the front of the hand to go straight on but can spin like a leg break in the right conditions.
Lyon said while his time in Sri Lanka had been very useful, the new delivery was still a work in progress and was not solely the result of spending time under Muralitharan's tutelage.
"It wasn't like I rocked into Colombo, worked with Murali and suddenly I could bowl a new ball," he told reporters in Brisbane.
"I've been working with John Davison (Australian spin bowling coach) for a while now just to nut out a few different variations."
The 26-year-old said he plans to try out the delivery when he lines up for Australia A in a tour match against India A, starting in Brisbane on Sunday.
Muralitharan will continue to work with Lyon up to and throughout the tour against Pakistan in the United Arab Emirates.
"To have Murali on board for the UAE is fantastic," said Lyon.
"I learnt some things over there and it's awesome to be around one of the greats of the game."
The Sri Lankan master has been full of praise for Lyon, who has established himself as Australia's premier spinner and recently surpassed the milestone of 100 Test wickets.
Pakistan have been forced to play their home series at neutral venues, such as the UAE, since militants attacked the Sri Lankan team in Lahore in 2009.