England’s Tom Hartley thinks playing with Nathan Lyon can be ‘game-changer’ as he looks to secure Test place | Cricket News

England’s Tom Hartley hopes playing alongside Nathan Lyon for Lancashire will take his bowling to a new level; spinner wants to improve batting and become all-rounder – follow England’s final Test against India with blog on skysports.com and Sky Sports App from Thursday

England spinner Tom Hartley hopes that teaming up with Nathan Lyon at Lancashire this season will be a game-changer for him as he aims to establish himself in the Test side in the long run.

Having taken 20 wickets in four Tests at an average of 33.45 during England’s series in India, including a memorable seven-wicket haul on his debut in Hyderabad in January, the 24-year-old Hartley is determined to secure his place in the squad.

However, his opportunities to play in the County Championship may be impacted by Lancashire’s signing of Australia off-spinner Lyon for the season.

Hartley has taken 20 wickets in four Tests this season

Nevertheless, Hartley believes that Lyon, who recently achieved his fifth 10-wicket match haul in Tests during Australia’s victory over New Zealand, can help elevate his bowling skills to a higher level.

He expressed, “Playing alongside Lyon would be fantastic. I hope that he can really make a difference in my game.”

“Learning from him would be invaluable. By the end of the season, he might be tired of me. Hopefully, we will have a strong partnership.

“I am focusing on refining my bowling technique to match his. The way he performs on challenging Australian pitches, which are similar to English pitches at times, is something I aim to emulate.

Lyon has taken 527 Test wickets for Australia, including 24 five-fors

‘I believe I can be a pretty good red-ball bowler’

“Initially, I was leaning towards white-ball cricket due to more opportunities, but this Test series [against India] has instilled confidence in me that I can excel as a red-ball bowler. I feel more assured of my capabilities now.

“I am motivated to perform this summer and showcase my skills for Lancashire.”

Ben Stokes praised Hartley after his impressive bowling performance led England to victory in the first Test against India

In addition to his bowling prowess, Hartley has contributed 159 runs in the India series. He is currently striving to develop into a versatile all-rounder to solidify his spot at Lancashire and compete for a place in England’s squad for the upcoming matches against Sri Lanka and West Indies this summer.

“I am working hard on my batting skills to evolve into a complete all-rounder, which would make me a more appealing selection,” he remarked.

“I have made significant progress in my batting over the past two years, but I acknowledge that there is still room for improvement, and this improvement will come with more time at the crease.”

Hartley aims to enhance his batting skills this season

“At times, I need to remain composed, take my time to settle in, and exhibit more patience. I often get carried away in attempting to hit boundaries.

“My sixes and fours end up being celebrated by England captain Ben Stokes and coach Brendon McCullum. When I hit a six, they are over the moon.

“Upon returning to the dressing room, they emphasize the importance of such shots, motivating me to incorporate them more in my game.”

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