Nathan Lyon
Nathan Lyon (Image Credit: Twitter)

Former New Zealand captain and Australia’s assistant coach Daniel Vettori on Sunday (July 3) said Nathan Lyon has achieved success in Test cricket because of his skills to turn and bounce the ball.

In the first Test against Sri Lanka at Galle International Stadium, Lyon picked nine wickets with his first-innings spell of 5/90 helped him achieve the 20th five-wicket haul in Test cricket and second in the island nation since making his Test debut at the same venue.

Nathan Lyon
Nathan Lyon. Image: Cricket Australia

Nathan has a number of years left in him to climb up the table: Daniel Vettori

Lyon surpassed the likes of Sir Richard Hadlee, Rangana Herath and Kapil Dev to jump to the 10th spot in the all time leading wicket-takers of Test cricket. Vettori said the 34-year-old spinner could go up in the list given the number of years he can offer to play for the Australian Test side.

“It’s a tactical conversation. Nathan has seen everything in world cricket. To be a finger spinner and be in the top 10 wicket-takers in the world is incredible. Albeit the majority of the time it is down to his skill level. The ability to be successful with that much turn and bounce,” Vettori said in a press conference. 

“And then you see the development of that bowler, to read conditions, to add things to his armoury and a desire to just keep wanting to get better. He has a number of years left in him, so he can climb up that table even further,” he added.

Daniel Vettori
Daniel Vettori. Image: Twitter

The sweep shot is a challenging option against Nathan Lyon: Daniel Vettori

Lyon got all four of his wickets in the second innings while the Sri Lankan batters attempted to play the sweep shot but miscued in its execution. Vettori, who picked 362 Test wickets for New Zealand in 113 matches, said batters find it difficult to play the sweep shot against the Australian off-spinner.

“Batters who sweep are always very difficult to bowl to. They ask different questions of you as a bowler. That is where Nathan is so successful. He is consistent and he gets so much spin and bounce that we all know the sweep is a good option but it is a challenge against someone of his quality,” the former New Zealand captain said.

“His stock ball is so amazing, sometimes for him, that is good enough. But for his development, he is looking to bring variations in. Different balls, over and around the wicket. He is very receptive to all information,” he added.

The Pat Cummins-led side wrapped the first Test by 10 wickets inside three days and lead 1-0 in the two-match series. Australia will play the second Test against Sri Lanka at the same venue on July 8.

Also Read: SL vs AUS: You Have Got To Win Overseas Matches To Be The No.1 Ranked Side – Pat Cummins