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With Nathan Lyon enhancing his reputation as one of the best spinners to have played for Australia with his sensational performances in the ongoing series in Bangladesh, former batsman Ed Cowan has made a bold prediction about his former teammate, claiming that the off-spinner can enter the elite 500-club of Test wickets.
Lyon went past his illustrious compatriot Jason Gillespie with his stunning spell of 7 for 94 in the first innings against of the ongoing second Test in Chittagong which helped him to take his tally to 263 in just 69 matches. There is still a long way to go before the 500-wicket mark even comes into sight, but with Lyon being in such devastating form, Cowan feels he can become one of a handful of players to take 500 wickets in the longest format of the game.
So far, only five players in Test history – Shane Warne, Muttiah Muralitharan, Anil Kumble, Glenn McGrath and Courtney Walsh – have managed to cross the mark in their careers with Muralitharan leading the list with a mind-boggling 800 wickets.
“He’s racing up the all time Test wicket list which is fantastic,” Cowan said. “He’s getting better with age and we see with spinners, they tend to mature a little later and his best is still to come. You wouldn’t put 500 Test wickets past Nathan.”
Lyon was criticised for his performance last summer for his indifferent performance, but the off-spinner has bounced back in style. He was Australia’s leading wicket-taker in the four-Test series against India earlier this year and has already taken 16 wickets in three innings against Bangladesh.
“There are plenty of guys and girls that love knocking the Australian cricket team,” Cowan said. “It’s hard work to be good all around the world in different conditions. It takes time to adapt and I think the great thing about Nathan is that he’s always looking to improve.
“He’s shown that particularly in these last couple of Tests in Asia that he’s willing to change his style of bowling to suit the conditions. Often when that clicks, careers takes off and his certainly is,” Cowan added.
Lyon, who recently went past Glenn McGrath to become Australia’s second leading wicket-taker in Asia and is behind only the legendary Shane Warne, is seventh in the list of most Test wickets by an Australian