Sport Ashes 2017/18: Nathan Lyon closing in on joining Australian 300-wickets club

23:51  07 december  2017
23:51  07 december  2017 Source:   Sydney Morning Herald

NICE GARRY: Nathan Lyon just took a screamer caught and bowled with his outstretched left hand

  NICE GARRY: Nathan Lyon just took a screamer caught and bowled with his outstretched left hand Nathan Lyon's second wicket of the day was an absolute screamer of a catch, diving across the wicket to his left after Moeen Ali spooned a leading edge back to the bowler.  Jonny Bairstow stood on the crease at the non-striker's, helpless, watching Lyon stretch out his left hand in front of him as hope for England fades faster than Brexit negotiations. Here's the catch. Nice, Garry.A flying GOAT! https://t.co/MboRNr0wWd #Ashes pic.twitter.com/smntfBTsGc— cricket.com.

It is the holy grail for Australian bowlers and Nathan Lyon is now within striking range of joining the exclusive 300 club by the end of this Ashes series. The Australian off-spinner's brilliant form in the first two Tests has been a key factor in Steve Smith's side surging to a

It is the holy grail for Australian bowlers and Nathan Lyon is now within striking range of joining the exclusive 300 club by the end of this Ashes series. The Australian off-spinner's brilliant form in the first two Tests has been a key factor in Steve Smith's side surging to a

Spin king: Nathan Lyon in Adelaide© AP Spin king: Nathan Lyon in Adelaide

It is the holy grail for Australian bowlers and Nathan Lyon is now within striking range of joining the exclusive 300 club by the end of this Ashes series.

The Australian off-spinner's brilliant form in the first two Tests has been a key factor in Steve Smith's side surging to a 2-0 lead heading into next week's third match of the series at the WACA.

England's batsmen, in particular their vulnerable array of left-handers, are scratching around for answers as to how to score and survive against him.

After a prolific year in the subcontinent, his 11 wickets in Brisbane and Adelaide have made the 30-year-old the leading wicket-taker in the world in 2017 and there is another prize looming.

Lyon tops Test wicket-takers this year

  Lyon tops Test wicket-takers this year Australian spinner Nathan Lyon is the most successful bowler in Test cricket this year.Lyon claimed four English wickets on Monday in the second Test in Adelaide, taking his tally to 55 for the year.

It is the holy grail for Australian bowlers and Nathan Lyon is now within striking range of joining the exclusive 300 club by the end of this Ashes series. The Australian off-spinner's brilliant form in the first two Tests has been a key factor in Steve Smith's side surging to a

Originally published on smh.com.au as ' Ashes 2017 / 18 : Nathan Lyon closing in on joining Australian 300 - wickets club '.

Lyon heads to Perth seventh on the all-time Australian list with 280 Test wickets and with a real chance to add an additional 20 by the conclusion of the fifth Sydney in Sydney in January, particularly if the pitch is to his liking at the SCG.

That would place him alongside Shane Warne (708), Glenn McGrath (563), Dennis Lillee (355), Mitchell Johnson (313) and Brett Lee (310) as the only Australians to have collected 300.

The scary thing is that as a spinner he could conceivably continue playing international cricket for six or seven years.

Australia's Christmas tree topping craze: Nathan Lyon

  Australia's Christmas tree topping craze: Nathan Lyon Australian cricket fans are paying homage to Test spinner Nathan "Garry" Lyon by making him the must-have Christmas tree topper this festive season. The GOAT, or "The Greatest Of All Time", has been one of Australia's best-performing players in the Ashes Test series against England and now it appears he will take centre stage over Christmas as an ornament atop trees.The movement began on a Facebook fan group of Australia's all-time leading wicket-taking off-spinner and has quickly gathered momentum.

If Nathan Lyon does not wish himself a safe passage through the Ashes when he blows out the candles for his 30th birthday on Monday then selectors should step in Ahead of the pack: Nathan Lyon has taken 46 wickets this year.

At the close , Australia were 53 for four with Peter Handscomb on three and nightwatchman Nathan Lyon not out three. Also Read: Ashes 2017 second Test: Nathan Lyon takes stunning catch to dismiss Moeen Ali on the Day 3; watch video. The Australians lost the wickets of Cameron Bancroft (4)

Lyon has claimed 38 wickets in his past five Tests, three of them in subcontinent conditions in India and Bangladesh, at an average of 17.8. His career average has plummeted from 34 to 31 during this purple patch.

Astoundingly, in Australian conditions and in a bowling line-up featuring Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood and Pat Cummins – three of the best pacemen in the world – he has been the centrepiece of Steve Smith's attack, the man England's batsmen most fear.

"Gazza is bowling the house down at the moment," Starc said on Thursday.

"I think that allows the other three of us to do what we do from one end if need be. Josh does what he does and it allows Pat and I to bowl as fast as we can."

Australia's well-rounded bowling department has fully justified the decision by national selectors not to include an all-rounder in the squad until now, with Mitch Marsh to join the camp in Perth. He could potentially make a return to the Test XI in place of a struggling Peter Handscomb.

Lehmann makes bold prediction for Lyon

  Lehmann makes bold prediction for Lyon Australian coach Darren Lehmann believes Nathan Lyon could achieve anything with self-belief, including giving Shane Warne's wicket-taking record a nudge.Lyon was lauded for his performance in the first Ashes Test at the Gabba, taking 2-78 and 3-67, to continue the rich vein of form he found during tours of India and Bangladesh to move to seventh on the list of champion Aussie bowlers with 274 wickets.

Australian bowler Nathan Lyon celebrates after dismissing England batsman Dawid Malan.Picture: AAP. Lyon bowled 16 maidens in a total 60 overs during the Ashes opener at the Gabba and went for just 2.41 runs per over. All but one of his five wickets came against a batsman playing a defensive

Gilchrist predicts Lyon to pick up more than 300 Test wickets. Adam Gilchrist feels Nathan Lyon has a bright future in the game and has predicted the off-spinner to join the 300 - wicket club in Test cricket. The former Australian wicketkeeper-batsman also lauded the

Thanks to the complementary roles played by the Australian quartet in repeatedly dismantling England, they haven't needed a fourth seamer.

Lyon has been almost impossible for England's batsmen to get away, rocking them with over-spin and turn, Cummins has bowled with great control as well as pace, Starc has made in-roads with the new ball and taken down the tail and Hazlewood rose to the challenge on the last day in Adelaide, bowling faster than he ever had to be Australia's man of the hour.

There is more bad news for England.

"The exciting thing is I think our bowling group can still get better," Starc warned.

"I think we've obviously managed to take 40 wickets in the last couple of weeks and do a lot of good things, but I think there is still room for improvement.

"I think the fact that we've all sort of grown up together – well, Patty, Josh and I – we've been around each other for a long time. We spend so much time off the field as a group as well. We're really close mates. I think that shows in the way we play our cricket. We're gelling really nicely and we complement each other really well.

"Hopefully we see a nice fast, bouncy wicket ... a WACA of old, and get stuck into their batters again as a bowling group."

LEADING TEST WICKET-TAKERS FOR AUSTRALIA

Shane Warne 708

Glenn McGrath 563

Dennis Lillee 355

Mitchell Johnson 313

Brett Lee 310

Craig McDermott 291

Nathan Lyon 280

Rain threatens Australia's Ashes parade .
Rain is predicted in Perth on the fourth and fifth days, as Australia press for a third Test win against England.Rain and late storms are forecast for Sunday with Australia 4-549, some 146 runs ahead of England, in the third Test.

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