The GOAT, the Conventional, the Wicket-Taker - Nathan Lyon

Opinion: The GOAT, the Conventional, the Wicket-Taker – Nathan Lyon

Nathan Lyon. Image Courtesy: Getty Images

I have been a fan of spin bowling for a long time now. Earlier, it was all about Shane Warne, Stuart McGill, Anil Kumble and the greatest of them all, Muttiah Muralitharan. Years later, a few players tried their hand to imitate the class and persona the legends had but didn’t make it far.

And after a while, a few emerged out of the shadows of their own or maybe of someone else and showed potential. One of them is Australia’s off-spinner, Nathan Lyon. Not a missing identity in the cricketing world, Lyon has perhaps been the most improved bowler in the past few years. Many would argue that Moeen Ali could be the other name, but Lyon it would be for me. There are reasons why he would topple anyone to stand tall on the list.

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Moeen Ali’s 19 wickets were the decisive factor for England to beat India in the Test Series by a margin of 3-1. Image Courtesy: Getty Images

The numbers might suggest a different story. However, it has been his impact he has left and the time of it, which has created a lot of buzz around him. I remember the Test series against India earlier this year, and also the one when India toured Australia a couple of years back, Lyon wasn’t really their prime bowler. He wasn’t even Steven Smith’s go-to-man, neither was he the one to be backed to disturb Indian’s with his spin. But, hey, Lyon did the opposite. It’s evident from his spell in Adelaide, where he helped Australia beat India, despite the visitors gaining momentum in the major part of the run-chase.

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Nathan Lyon took the crucial wicket of Virat Kohli in the second innings of the Adelaide Test match in 2014. Image Courtesy: Getty Images

He took seven wickets on the Australian soil at Adelaide and finished the series with the most number of wickets (24). How often you see such figures coming up, and also against the ones who are better players of spin bowling?

Now come 2017, he did a better job against India at home. He took a record eight wickets in an innings at Bangalore against India and later finished the tour as Australia’s joint highest wicket-taker with 19 scalps to his name.
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Nathan Lyon reacts after taking 8 for 50 against India at Bengaluru. Image Courtesy: AFP
A few months later, he tarnished the Bangladesh’s batting line-up with 22 wickets in a two-match Test series, which also includes his career best figures of 13-158 in Chittagong. He’s just 50 Test old in cricket and has already been opined by many as the next big thing.
I hope his rise sees a new day and he breaks as many records coming his way.

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I am more than just a cricket lover. I have been breathing this game since I was three, and now I am making a living out of it. Also, FC Barcelona happens to be my second love, and evidently, I prefer Lionel Messi over Ronaldo.