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.
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.
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?