Nathan Lyon- Journey of a Groundsman to becoming Australia’s greatest off spinner

Nathan Lyon
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Nathan Lyon has been the best off-spinner for Australia in test cricket. (Photo Source: Getty Images)
Tony Sam
TONY SAM

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Nathan Lyon- Journey of a Groundsman to becoming Australia’s greatest off spinner: He once was a pitch curator who later got a job as a groundsman at the Adelaide Oval. Little did he know that he would go down in history as Australia’s best ever off spinner. He of all would be the most amazed right now at the amount of success that he has achieved over the years. The off spinner with his flair and guile is not easy to get away especially if the pitch is favorable to spin. The lion-hearted Lyon always gives his 100% for the team and he has been quite successful in his endeavours for the past few years.

Nathon Lyon has been one of Australia’s key members in the test squad in recent times. The New South Wales native has now established himself as one of the best spinners of the world right now with his off break bowling. Australia haven’t produced as many spinners as they would have liked when compared to the amount of pacers. And the trend would have continued had it not been for Darren Berry, the Redbacks’ coach who identified Nathan Lyon’s off spin talent in the grass root level. Thanks to Darren Berry Lyon got a chance to play for his country in July 2011.

Lyon is more sort of a conventional styled off spinner who is not afraid flight the ball regularly. He possesses a traditional off spin bowling action. He is a good turner of the cricket ball and had always relished the challenge of playing in the unfriendly for spin conditions in Australia. As soon as he made his debut Lyon started showing glimpses of what was to come in the future. He became the 131st bowler in test history to take a fifer on debut.

Lyon was never guaranteed his spot in the team as players like Nathan Hauritz and Xavier Doherty kept knocking on the doors. But Lyon with his virtuosity with the ball has cemented his place in the test team for the past couple of years. He bowls the top-spinner at times and has incredible control while delivering and varies his pace regularly. His craft and guile with the red ball is great and appreciable, but not so with the white ball as he is constantly fighting for a place in the ODI side but never able to cement his position.

The biggest disappointment came when he was left out of the squad for 2015 world cup despite having performed decently well against India just recently before the world cup. What was more appreciable of his performances against India was, just before the start of the series Australia had lost one of their players, Phil Hughes who died as a result of a freak accident on the cricket pitch. But Nathan Lyon and the other Aussies put those memories behind them and moved on. Not only did they move on, they also beat India 2-0 with Lyon taking a fifer in both the innings of the first match at Adelaide.

With over 130 wickets and aged just 27, Lyon can go on to pick up 300 or 350 plus wickets in his career if he continues his good run of form to the very end. With Lyon being successful with his off-spin bowling, it is a surety that he would serve as a source of inspiration for young Aussies to take up and learn the art of off spin bowling. Off-spin doesn’t have much craze in Australia, Lyon’s performances can make a difference in that. He still has a long way to go to enter the elite league of bowlers, but one thing is sure, this player is endowed with great skill and passion and that per se would take him to greater heights!