Nathan Lyon, according to Australia captain Pat Cummins, is more than capable of extending his career and catching legendary spinner Shane Warne to become the country’s highest Test wicket-taker.
Lyon took his 500th Test wicket on the fourth day of Australia’s dominant ICC World Test Championship victory in Perth, trapping Pakistan all-rounder Faheem Ashraf lbw, and the off-spinner now has Warne (708 wickets) and Glenn McGrath (563) in his sights as he enters the twilight of his career.
Lyon is only the third Australian to have taken over 500 Test wickets.Lyon is only the third Australian to have taken over 500 Test wickets.
While Lyon refused to debate whether he may exceed McGrath and subsequently Warne as Australia’s best wicket-taker, Cummins issued a challenge to the 36-year-old only moments after he reached the milestone on Sunday.
“I’ve got at least another four or five years with 10 games a year,” Cummins said as Lyon looked on.
“I still believe you have 40 or 50 Test matches, which is four or five years with 10 (matches) per year.”
“Averaging four or five a game, so a couple of hundred (wickets) – that’s 700.”
Nathan Lyon of Australia extended his excellent success from the WTC cycle with five wickets in the ICC World Test Championship Final 2023.
Lyon demonstrated his value to Australia by taking five wickets in two innings as the reigning World Test Championship winners regained control of their campaign with a comprehensive 360-run victory over Pakistan in Perth.
The veteran off-spinner will be hoping to add to his already impressive 501 Test scalps over the next six weeks, when Australia plays two more Tests against Pakistan before hosting the West Indies in a two-game series in Adelaide and Brisbane before the end of January.
Australia will then travel to New Zealand at the end of February for a two-match series against their trans-Tasman rival, with a five-match battle against India for the Border-Gavaskar Trophy at the start of next summer likely to be pivotal in their bid to appear in a second World Test Championship final in a row.
“I don’t think it’s any secret that he (Lyon) is probably the most important cog in our bowling line-up,” Cummins said of the hard-hitting spinner.
“This game is perhaps a little unique. However, in most games when he bowls 30 overs each day, just place him down one end and he won’t go for many runs. He’ll take a few wickets, and the quick bowlers will simply rotate through the other end.
“There’s no doubt he was missed over there in England (during this year’s Ashes series).” As a captain, knowing that bloke who has played 100-odd Test matches and knows his trade and can bowl pretty much in any conditions makes things a lot easier, so it’s nice to have him back. Yes, 500 more to go.”