Best spells of Nathan Lyon in India: Bowler with most wickets in Border Gavaskar Trophy history
Best spells of Nathan Lyon in India: Bowler with most wickets in Border Gavaskar Trophy history. Natan Lyon has taken 53 wickets from 10 Tests in India.
Nathan Lyon is up there with the best when it comes to off-spinners in Test cricket. The Australian tweaker has grown leaps and bounds with his sharp skills and developed into a world-class spinner over the past decade.
Though not having much variations like his compatriots and past legends, Lyon has created a special niche for himself. He is sure to be an all-time legend when it comes to Australia cricket and Lyon’s name will be up there when one talks about the list of greatest spinners ever to grace the traditional form of cricket, i.e., Tests.
Nathan Lyon was working as a groundsman at the Adelaide Oval when he was selected to the Australia Test team. The spinner made his Test debut at the Galle International Stadium in 2011 and immediately made an impact by taking a 5-wicket haul, playing a key role in Australia’s 125-run victory over Sri Lanka.
Since then, Lyon has played 118 Tests for Australia which is the 8th most for any player from that country. He is also the third-highest wicket taker for Australia with 479 wickets at an average of 31.11 with 23 five-wicket hauls. He is only behind Shane Warne (708) and Glenn McGrath (563) in terms of number of Test wickets for Australia.
Though Lyon has been mighty successful against every team he has played so far in Tests, the offie has taken a liking to the Indian team. As a spinner, he has the most wickets against the men in blue than any other bowler with 113 scalps. Lyon went past legendary Sri Lanka spinner Muttiah Muralitharan’s tally of 105 wickets against India in the 3rd Test of Border Gavaskar Trophy 2022-23 at the Holkar Stadium in Indore. In fact, Lyon is the most successful bowler in Border Gavaskar Trophy held between India and Australia, going past Anil Kumble’s tally of 111 wickets.
While Indian surfaces are known to aid spinners to a large extent, overseas spinners including the likes of Muralitharan and Shane Warne have struggled here, but Lyon has found success over the course of his three tours to India.
Nathan Lyon Bowling Stats in Tests
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Lyon boasts a great record against India both home and away, and most of his special match-winning performances have come with India being the opposition. Let us analyse some of his best spells against India in India.
8/50 at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium, Bengaluru in 2017
Nathan Lyon was at his best in the second Test of Border Gavaskar Trophy 2016-17 in Bengaluru. After Australia won the first Test in Pune where Lyon picked 5 wickets in total, the off-spinner turned chief tormentor of India in the second Test.
In the first innings of the Test, he helped Australia restrict India to a paltry 189, removing four of the home side’s top 5 including Virat Kohli, Ajinkya Rahane and Cheteshwar Pujara. Despite gaining a significant 87-run first innings lead, Australia failed to capitalise allowing India to make a comeback into the game. In the end, Australia lost by 75 runs, but this was a top spell by Nathan Lyon and these returns remain his best figures in Tests till date.
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8/64 at the Holkar Stadium, Indore in 2023
If the spell mentioned above was Nathan Lyon’s best against India, his recent performance in Indore is easily his best match-winning spell in Tests. After a disappointing outing personally in the first Test at Nagpur, Lyon came back strong with a 5-wicket haul in Delhi in the 2nd Test which Australia once again lost.
But his 11-wicket haul in the third match at Indore didn’t only make the Test unforgettable for himself but also for Australia. His spell of 8/64 in the second innings on a rank turner at Holkar Stadium inspired a stunning victory for the visitors. This has made the made series which stands at 2-1 in India’s favour, more interesting with a match to go.
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7/94 at Arun Jaitley Stadium, Delhi in 2013
This was Nathan Lyon’s first of his 5-wicket hauls that he has taken against India in Tests. After having endured a tough start to his Test career playing most of the games at home where pitches tend to be unfavourable for spinners, Lyon made his first trip to India in 2013.
Like most of the overseas spinner in India, Lyon found it hard to adjust in the first 2 Tests of Border Gavaskar Trophy 2012-13 in Chennai and Mohali where he picked only 6 wickets while conceding close to 400 runs. While many would have lost heart with these outings but not Lyon. The off-spinner claimed his first 5-wicket haul against India in Delhi and it was a 7-fer to boot.