Australian bowler Nathan Lyon looks to the umpire at the Gabba.
Australian bowler Nathan Lyon looks to the umpire at the Gabba. DAN PELED

Gabba embraces Lyon as new cult hero

NATHAN Lyon could have been carrying the drinks this Test match, instead the Gabba crowd has hailed him as "Queensland's new favourite son”.

Hundreds of T-shirts emblazoned with "Nice Garry” were being worn around the ground on Saturday, and all through the night session the crowd chanted out Lyon's nickname.

Lyon was under so much pressure coming into this Test match, selectors only made their decision to keep him in the side less than two hours before the toss.

Teammates have joined the crowd in rallying behind Australia's greatest off-spinner, who took the breakthrough wicket on Saturday night that could pave the way for victory on day four.

"We've been calling him 'Queensland's new favourite son'. I've been booted out, me and Renshaw are gone,” said Queensland captain Usman Khawaja.

"It's been awesome how the crowd has been getting behind him. We keep trying to get 'Nice Garry' in there at some point.

"Social media is funny how things can just get blown out of proportion. I call him the new cult hero. Everyone just seems to love him.

"I've never seen anything like it.

"If you look at his stats, yeah, they didn't look great, but I always felt like he was bowling all right, he just wasn't getting the rewards.

"Hopefully he can take a few wickets tomorrow and get the crowd up again.”

Australia bowled Pakistan out in 55 overs on day three, but Khawaja admits Steve Smith was never going to enforce the follow on under any circumstances.

"I think we just wanted to have a crack at them at night time, try and get a big lead and try and give our bowlers another little rest,” Khawaja said.

"You probably don't see it, but it's quite tough to bowl out there. It's humid and it can be hot at times so it's tough for the bowlers to back up. I don't think it (the follow on) was ever going to happen.

"We're going to have to do a lot of tough work early. If we can get two new batsmen ... hopefully the rain stays away.”