Lyon overcomes Warne criticism to leapfrog greats
Nathan Lyon overcame the odds and tactical criticism from Shane Warne to stun India and leap ahead of all-time greats with a 13th, five-wicket Test haul in Adelaide.
Lyon - with 20 wickets in his past three Tests - is a clutch performer in a side struggling without world class duo Steve Smith and David Warner.
Lyon has moved past former England spearhead Bob Willis to 326 Test wickets with white lightning Allan Donald (330), Indian off-spin counterpart Ravi Ashwin (341) and Australian great Dennis Lillee (355) in his sights.
"It is definitely one of my favourite places to bowl with my connection here and a great wicket that Damian Hough has produced," said Lyon with 25 wickets at 24 in three Tests against India at Adelaide Oval.
Lyon had three second innings verdicts from umpire Nigel Llong against Cheteshwar Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane overturned through the Decision Review System. Skipper Tim Paine also missed a stumping chance on Ashwin but Lyon still finished with 6/122 in India's second innings 307.
"It is frustrating but part of the game, works for and against you. It is here to stay," said Lyon of Australia's DRS nightmare.
Lyon and Ashwin have gone head to head in the first Test with honours and admiration shared.
"Ashwin has been a world class bowler for many years now. I have taken pleasure off watching and learning from him," 81-Test veteran Lyon said.
"There is a lot of mutual respect for both of us, he is a great guy, competitor and superstar."
Lyon's tough run against the DRS at Adelaide Oval rivalled England spearhead Jimmy Anderson's four wickets that were overturned in last summer's Ashes series.
Lyon wouldn't bow to bad luck, claiming Pujara to end an 87-run stand with Rahane that triggered a 7-73 collapse and hauled Australia back into the contest.
Lyon bowled Australia to victory against India with a 12-wicket match haul including a second innings 7-152 in Adelaide during 2014. Lyon's efforts in this series opener were equally impressive.
Lyon is now fourth on the Test wicket tally with 43 behind Warne's record 56 at the Adelaide ground Lyon used to curate.
Warne lauded Lyon's performance saying "he'd done a great job". However Test great Warne argued Lyon's wickets could have come quicker if a fielder had been stationed close on the off-side during India's second innings.
"Nathan Lyon has been a class act and has been one of the best spinners in the world but you have to have a (off-side) bat pad. I don't understand it," said Warne on Fox Cricket.
Lyon set up Pujara over six balls of perfection with a silly mid-off - Peter Handscomb - in place. The presence of Handscomb forced Pujara into nervous pushes before edging to Aaron Finch.
Rohit Sharma's nervous off-side prod to Handscomb appeared to vindicate Warne's analysis.
"It is not nice to have a man in there under your eye line," said Warne.
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