Nathan Lyon can take 400 Test wickets for Australia, says Ricky Ponting
Nathan Lyon is gearing up to finish 2017 as the highest wicket-taker in the year and former Australian cricket team skipper Ricky Ponting believes the spinner can take more than 400 wickets before the end of his Test career.cricket Updated: Dec 05, 2017 14:28 IST
Nathan Lyon can finish as one of Australia’s best-ever bowlers in their history and maybe even bag more than 400 wickets in Test cricket, believes former Australian cricket team skipper Ricky Ponting. (2nd Ashes Test scorecard)
Lyon is currently in contention with Ravichandran Ashwin in finishing the year 2017 as its highest wicket-taker, having overtaken the Indian spinner on the third day of the ongoing second Ashes 2017-18 Test at the Adelaide Oval.
The 30-year-old Lyon is already the most successful off-spinner in Australian history, with 274 wickets so far in 70 Tests.
Ponting, in his assessment, has backed Lyon to grab 400 Test scalps. He was quoted as saying by cricket.com.au, “He could play for another five to seven years quite easily. He’s fit, he’s bowling brilliantly, it doesn’t look like he’s going to slow down anytime soon. (Lyon’s) is probably an underrated record. He’s someone who’s not spoken about anywhere near as much as he should be.”
“Look at what he’s done through his career, it’s fantastic. If he plays for another four or five years, and he’s taken 50 wickets this year, times that by five or six and he could end up with 400 wickets-plus, there’s no doubt about it,” Ponting said.
Lyon attracted criticism when he spoke about ending careers of a few members of the England cricket team before the Ashes, but since then he has arguably been Australia’s most potent weapon.
“Nathan’s confidence has gone through the roof and it’s grown tenfold since the tour of Sri Lanka last year when he lost all confidence. To be able to bounce back from that and have the year that he’s had so far says a lot about him and the confidence the captain has in him. I’ve watched him for a long time, I’ve played with him for a few years, the way he’s releasing the ball now is just absolutely superb,” Ponting said.
“He sums up the conditions really well too. We saw that in Brisbane with a bit more over-spin that he put on the ball in the first innings of the game, he tries to get as much bounce as he can and he does get a lot of bounce for an off-spinner,” Ponting added.