Nathan Lyon can join 300-wicket club in Tests, says Adam Gilchrist
Gilchrist believes Lyon can become the sixth Australian to achieve the landmark and wants him to be included in the T20 World Cup squad
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 28-year-old’s character and is disappointed with the national selectors for not having given Lyon an extended run in the team in the shorter formats of the game.
Lyon, who debuted in 2011, is currently the most successful off-spinner in Australian history having picked up 182 wickets in 51 matches, and with age and fitness on his side, Gilchrist predicted that Lyon can easily break the 300-wicket barrier.
"I wouldn't have a clue how many Tests they've got coming up the next few years, but there's no reason why he can't get there," Gilchrist said. "He doesn't seem to ever have any injury troubles. I have no hesitation in saying he has every opportunity to get up there.”
Gilchrist admits that the landmark is not as easy as it sounds referring to the fact there have been only five Australians – Shane Warne, Glenn McGrath, Dennis Lillee, Mitchell Johnson and Brett Lee – who have achieved the feat thus far.
"He'll probably need four or five years [to reach 300] and a lot of things can change in that time. The fact there's only five who have got past that mark shows how difficult it is to remain fit enough and good enough to get to that target,” he said.
The 44-year-old however, praised Lyon’s approach to the game and is no doubt that Lyon can continue to impress in the foreseeable future.
"One thing which has been evident being in the Australian team and I hear from others in and around the group that he is so team oriented and team focussed and that shines through in the on-field efforts. Clearly his tenacity and desire to improve and be able to have an effect at that level is evident,” he said.
“He's had a few setbacks as the guy who was brought up and put back out [of the team] for someone else, but now he's worked hard and commands his spot. That tells you a lot about the guy's character, his qualities and the manner in which he cares about his teammates," Gilchrist added.
Gilchrist wants Lyon to be selected in the shorter formats as well
Despite establishing himself as a regular in Test cricket, Lyon has found the going tough in 50-over and Twenty20 cricket. He has played only 8 ODIs till date while he is yet to make his debut in T20I – stats that Gilchrist wants the Australian selectors to correct.
"You only find out if you can play a certain format if you get an extended run at it. There's no reason why he shouldn't be tried," Gilchrist said.
The Daily Telegraph had reported a few days earlier that Lyon could be in a direct face-off with veteran spinner Brad Hogg for a spot in the Australian team for the ICC 2016 T20 World Cup. However, Gilchrist is in no doubt as to whom the selectors should pick.
"In 50 over cricket, there's a good little period now to find out and the way he's feeling in his bowling and the confidence he's got, there's probably no better time to unleash it in a world T20 tournament."