Tuesday, June 25, 2024

‘I’ve got nothing but respect for him’: Nathan Lyon praises R Ashwin’s influence in his career

Veteran Australian spinner Nathan Lyon hailed the influence of an Indian rival Ravichandran Ashwin, who he sees as an inspiration, on his remarkable career to date and said he had “nothing but respect for Ashwin”.

Lyon, who is four wickets away from the coveted 500-wicket mark in Test cricket was named in Australia’s playing XI for the first Test against Pakistan starting in Perth on Thursday after a return from the calf injury that cut short his Ashes campaign.

“You look at Ashwin, he’s a world-class bowler and somebody I’ve watched closely from the start of his career. We’ve gone head-to-head many times in different conditions around the world. I’ve got nothing but respect for Ashwin and the way he’s gone about it. I’ve definitely learned from him,” said Lyon as quoted by ricket.com.au

“There’s an opportunity to learn from the people you play against, and without knowing it he’s probably been one of my biggest coaches in a way,” he added.

Ashwin and Lyon have had very similar career trajectories, and are both closing in on 500 Test scalps. While Lyon is on 496 wickets, Ashwin, who is touring with the Indian side in South Africa, is on 489.

“It’s pretty amazing to see we’re both creeping up to that 500 mark, and we’ll see where we end up. Hopefully at the end of our career we’ll sit down and have a nice feed and a beer and talk about it,” said Lyon.

Shane Warne and Muttiah Muralitharan are the only spinners with 500 or more Test wickets currently. Lyon will get a shot at the milestone this week and could become the third Australian after Glenn McGrath and Warne to get to the landmark.

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