Nathan Lyon is set to become Adelaide Oval’s most successful bowler in 140 years of Test cricket.
Lyon is tied with Shane Warne on 56 wickets at the famous ground but should make the record his own in the second Test against the West Indies which starts on Thursday.
The 35-year-old has reached the milestone in 11 tests – two fewer tests than Warne – and even has a better average than the man widely considered the greatest bowler of all time.
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Lyon has taken his 56 scalps in Adelaide at 26.55 compared to Warne’s 30.44 and looks certain to add to that tally after taking eight wickets in the first Test.
Lyon was famously once employed as a groundsman the Adelaide Oval and is still mates with the head curator Damian Hough.
“I think it’s a mixture of everything – the way that Damien produces the wicket with the moisture content, the grass levels, the thickness of it,” Lyon said in Adelaide on Tuesday.
“All in combination into a great wicket and that’s why I think this venue is probably the world-class leading venue.”
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Lyon’s numbers are even more impressive considering Adelaide has hosted the day-night test in Australia since hosting New Zealand in 2015.
The pink ball and night time conditions are supposed to favor fast bowlers, but Lyon has still been able to find success.
“If you talk to the batters, some batters find it hard to pick up the seam at night time when they’re batting, so potentially I’ll bowl a few more variations,” he said.
“Simple things like cross seam and all that stuff to try and keep the batter guessing.”
Lyon has taken 446 Test wickets in his decorated career to sit eighth on the all-time list, and if he adds to that tally in Adelaide he’ll likely eclipse Warne as part of another record.
Lyon and Steve Smith are equal with Warne and Mark Taylor as Australia’s highest bowler-fielder wicket-taking combination in history.
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Taylor and Smith – who both mastered fielding first slip – have taken 51 catches each off the respective bowlers.
“Smithy actually sent me that message yesterday saying congrats that we were now equal with Tubby and Warnie,” Lyon said.
“When you say it like that it’s pretty remarkable. Something that we’re both very proud of.
“To have someone like Steve Smith standing there for 90 per cent of my career it’s been pretty special. I’ve obviously got a lot of confidence in having Smithy there, and he gives me a lot of feedback on different paces, how the shape looks, etc, which is an unbelievable cricket conversation to have.
“So to be equal with Tubby and Warnie at the moment, hopefully we’ll overtake them pretty soon.”
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