Nathan Lyon claims Oz off-spin record

2015-06-13 10:31
Nathan Lyon (Getty Images)

Cape Town - Nathan Lyon says he still has plenty to learn despite becoming Australia's most prolific off-spinner by removing Kraigg Brathwaite on the second day of the second test against West Indies in Kingston on Friday.

The 27-year-old's 142nd test wicket, the first of three he took at the cost of 35 runs, not only helped Australia to a dominant position at Sabina Park but also took him past the career tally of Hugh Trumble.

Trumble had held the title of Australia's most effective off-spinner since he retired in 1904 with 141 victims in 32 tests, then a record haul for any bowler in the nascent international game.

"I'm pretty proud. It's a big moment," Lyon said. "As I keep saying, and always say, I'll look back at these things at the end of my career. I am proud of the achievement that's for sure. It's a big record to break. Hopefully I can add to it."

Lyon's is an unlikely success story and he has been dropped with a regularity that would severely damage the morale of many a bowler.

Unassuming and physically unprepossessing, Lyon is pretty much the antithesis of leg-spinner Shane Warne, the player to whom every Australian slow bowler will be compared.

Lyon was not considered when Australia were looking for a spinner to replace the dumped Nathan Hauritz in the 2010-11 Ashes series because at the time he was a groundsman at Adelaide Oval and had not yet played first-class cricket.

He played his maiden test just a few months after his first-class debut on the tour of Sri Lanka in August 2011 and took the wicket of Kumar Sangakkara with his very first ball on his way to 5-34.

His 144 wickets in 41 tests have cost 35 runs apiece and Lyon accepts that he can still improve his game.

"I'm still learning. I feel like I'm learning each time I go out into the nets," he added. "Each time I walk out into the nets and in the middle I try to get better each and every day.

"I've got a lot of learning to do and I'm really enjoying it and hopefully it's just the start.

"I want to keep getting better at my bowling. I want to keep getting a better stock ball.

"The day I stop learning and don't want to get better is the day I'll give it up."

Read more on:    nathan lyon  |  cricket

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