Australian off-spinner Nathan Lyon has termed the Ajinkya Rahane-led Indian team’s gesture of gifting him a signed shirt on the occasion of his 100th Test at the Gabba earlier this year as a 'classy touch.'
In January 2021, Team India scripted a heist for the ages as they breached Australia's fortress at the Gabba to claim consecutive Test series wins Down Under.
During the post-match presentation, skipper Rahane came up with a heartwarming gesture when he invited Lyon to claim a signed shirt by the Indian players on the occasion of his 100th Test.
"From the Indian team, we'd like to give Nathan Lyon a signed jersey for playing 100 Tests," said Rahane as he invited Lyon.
While many hailed Rahane and the Indian team for their magnanimous gesture, a section of fans reckoned it was a clever move to remind the Aussies of India’s dominance over them in recent times, especially Down Under.
Things became even more interesting when the Indians didn’t extend the same gesture towards Joe Root back in February when the English skipper celebrated his 100th Test with a match-winning double-ton in Chennai.
Ross Taylor, who played his 100th Test against India last year, also did not receive a signed shirt from Virat Kohli’s men.
"I don’t see it as a champing at all, it’s a very nice gesture" - Nathan Lyon
Speaking on 'The Grade Cricketer Podcast', Lyon reckoned the presence of Rahane as India’s captain at the time could be a reason behind the move.
Lyon, who had a disappointing outing in the four-match series, admitted he was taken aback by the gesture.
"I put it down as a classy touch to be honest. I think it's all off the back of Ajinkya Rahane, to be honest with you. I know Ross Taylor played his 100th Test against India and he didn't get a shirt, and I don't think Joe Root did about two months later as well, which is a little bit interesting.
But I don't see it as a champing at all, it's a very nice gesture. It took me by surprise, as you can probably see in the footage."
When asked if the Indians would have made the same gesture if Virat was leading them, Lyon jokingly said:
"You're going to have to ask Virat when he's on here next week!"
The off-spinner signed off by stating that he already has one of Virat’s signed shirts as a piece of memorabilia.
"I've actually got one of Virat's shirts down here as well, he was very kind to give me one of his. A couple of decent bits of memorabilia there."
Lyon failed to cross the 400-Test wicket mark last summer and will be looking to shrug off last season's indifferent performances when he takes the field against England at the Gabba on December 08.