Australia spinner Nathan Lyon© AFP
Australia skipper Pat Cummins feels that experienced off-spinner Nathan Lyon is capable of extending his career and eventually catching up to legendary spinner Shane Warne to become the nation’s leading wicket-taker in Test format. Lyon joined the elite club of 500 Test wickets after he claimed five wickets in the 1st Test in Perth against Pakistan. His 500th Test victim was Faheem Ashraf as he trapped him in front of the stumps. The 36-year-old has now 501 wickets with Warne (708 wickets) and Glenn McGrath (563) the two Australian greats as he enters the twilight of his career.
While Lyon didn’t engage in the conversation of whether he could surpass the two Australian legends, Cummins issued a challenge to the off-spinner after his remarkable feat.
“Still got another four or five years at least, with 10 games a year. I still think you’ve got 40 or 50 Test matches, that’s four or five years with 10 (matches) a year. Averaging four or five a game, so a couple of hundred (wickets) – that’s 700,” Cummins said after their victory as quoted from ICC.
Lyon will have an opportunity to further add to his imposing tally of 501 in the upcoming two games against Pakistan. He will also get a chance to feature among the wicket-takers as Australia host West Indies in a two-game series in Adelaide and Brisbane in January.
“I don’t think it’s any secret that he (Lyon) is probably the most important cog in our bowling line-up. This game is probably a little bit different. But most games where he’s bowling 30 overs a day, basically just put him down one end and he’s not going to go for many runs. He’s going to take a few wickets and then us quick bowlers can just rotate through the other end,” Cummins said.
“No doubt he was missed over there in England (during this year’s Ashes series) for sure. As a captain, it makes it a lot easier knowing that bloke who has played 100-odd Test matches that knows his craft and can bowl pretty much in any conditions, you just let him get to work so it’s great having him back. Yeah, another 500 to go,” Cummins added.
Australia will face Pakistan in the second Test in Melbourne on December 26.
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