Queensland have taken complete control of the Sheffield Shield final, with former greats baffled at NSW’s tactics.
Queensland have taken complete control of the Sheffield Shield final, with former greats baffled at the tactics used by NSW to try and dismiss star batsman Marnus Labuschagne.
After the Blues largely toiled through the first session without much success, commentator Darren Berry questioned why such defensive fields were being set for Nathan Lyon’s bowling when wickets were at a premium.
MATCH CENTRE: Sheffield Shield final
“So I’m asking the question now, how is he trying to get Marnus out? One that rips to leg slip? How we getting him out?” Berry asked in commentary for Fox Cricket.
Lyon was criticised for his performances against India over the summer, where he collected just nine wickets across four Tests.
Australian spin-bowling legend Shane Warne took aim at Lyon over the fields set on day five of the fourth Test against India.
Lyon operated on the final morning without a close-in fielder on the off-side when bowling to Cheteshwar Pujuara, bowling a line that was too straight for Warne’s liking.
“What sort of conversations have they had with no bat-pad to start with this morning? I’m in shock,” Warne said at the time.
“I’ve been disappointed with some of the tactics from the Australians this series, but this doesn’t make any sense whatsoever as well.”
It was the exact same issue in the Shield final, and Andrew Symonds agreed with Berry, questioning the line and strategy of the Australian spinner.
“There’s only two men on the off-side, one is saving a single and the other saving a boundary, so Marnus is trying to manoeuvre the ball through the off side,” Symonds said.
“If I was Nathan Lyon I’d accept that challenge and try to spin it back hard through the gate.
“I’d like to see him change his line after lunch and bowl that more attacking line outside off stump.”
Fittingly, Labuschagne brought up his century with a reverse sweep off Lyon’s bowling.
The 33-year-old spinner does have NSW’s only wicket of the day, getting Bryce Street for 46.
Queensland are cruising at tea on day two at 2-211, having already passed the Blues’ first innings total of 143.
With a slew of wickets in hand and plenty of time remaining, the Bulls look odds-on to secure their first Shield crown in three years.
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