5 most deserving contenders for the 2018 ICC Test Player of the Year award
It is that time of year again when the International Cricket Council (ICC) honours cricketers for their performances in 2018. The previous year was a great one for Test cricket fans, and some very competitive matches were played in diverse conditions.
It was very exciting to see strong competition between bat and ball. There were also some controversies in 2018. But, for the most part, it was refreshing to see quite a few players reaching their peak form in the past year. Here are five of the top contenders for the prestigious "ICC Test Player of the Year" award for 2018.
#5 Nathan Lyon
Nathan Lyon was arguably the best spinner of the year. With 49 wickets in 10 games in 2018, he did really well for a team that was going through tough times. He took one less wicket than Sri Lanka's Dilruwan Perera (50) in the whole year, but the latter had played one more match in the year. While Lyon performed well everywhere he played, his competitors couldn't adapt to different pitches.
With 21 wickets in 4 matches in Australia, 16 wickets in 4 matches in South Africa and 12 wickets in 2 matches in the UAE against Pakistan, Lyon proved his mettle on numerous occasions. There was no spinner who could match his ability to adapt to different conditions all over the world.
Australia was struggling due to the suspensions on David Warner, Cameron Bancroft and Steve Smith. However, with a rampant Pat Cummins for company, Nathan Lyon formed the core of a strong Aussie bowling attack. Though their batsmen struggled, these two bowlers kept their focus and made it tougher for the opposition batsmen to dominate Australia.
Though Australia could only manage 3 Test victories in the whole year, Lyon's consistency with the ball cannot be overlooked. He bowled the most overs (615.3) in 2018, which is a tremendous amount of workload, even for a spinner. He continues to remain an integral cog of the Australian lineup.