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Stats: Nathan Lyon becomes Australia's all-time highest Test wicket-taker against India

Off-spinner's unbelievable 8-wicket haul propels him past some of Australian cricket's iconic names.

Nathan Lyon
Nathan Lyon managed to extract extra bounce from a weary Bengaluru surface

With his remarkable effort on the opening day of the second Test at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru, off-spinner Nathan Lyon etched his name in the record books by becoming Australia’s all-time leading wicket-taker against India (including both home and away matches) in Test cricket.

On a pitch already showing signs of weariness, the 29-year old targeted the right areas and extracted extra bounce to spin a web around the Indian batting lineup. His astonishing figures of 22.2-4-50-8 was not only the best by any visiting bowler in India but also Australia’s sixth best ever across all opponents and conditions.

During the course of his eight-wicket haul, Lyon went past illustrious names such as Mitchell Johnson, Glenn McGrath, Richie Benaud and finally Brett Lee to reach the very top of Australian wicket-takers against India. 

From 12 Tests against India both home and away, he has picked up 58 scalps at an average of 30.62 and strike rate of 50.9. Pertinently, 4 of his 8 five-wicket hauls as well as his solitary ten-wicket haul have come against his favourite opponent.

Among bowlers from all teams, Lyon’s tally of 58 wickets is the 16th  highest against India. Sri Lankan maestro Muttiah Muralitharan leads the way with a whopping 105 wickets from 22 Tests while legendary Pakistan all-rounder Imran comes a close second with 94 scalps from 23 matches.

For Australia however, Lyon already leads by a margin of five wickets. Express pacer Lee has taken 53 wickets from the same number of matches as the off-spinner. Although he stands third in this list, Richie Benaud’s record against India is perhaps the most impressive of them all. Spanning across two series on Indian soil, the iconic leg-spinner grabbed 52 wickets from just 8 games to bowl Australia to famous victories in 1956 (2-0) and 1959/60 (2-1).

Australia’s highest ever wicket-taker Shane Warne stands at a measly eighth with his average and strike-rate comfortably the worst in this list. However, it should not come across as any surprise considering he bowled to some of India’s greatest ever batsmen against the turning ball. Fast bowlers in the variety of Graham McKenzie, Jason Gillespie, Peter Siddle and Ray Lindwall have all enjoyed success against the Indians.

With still a possible 5 more innings left in this series and a few more games against India in the pipeline in the near future, Lyon can cut a deep swathe in the table. Here are the top ten Australian Test bowlers against India.

*Australia's leading Test wicket-takers against India

BowlerTestsWicketsAverageEconomy RateStrike Rate5-wicket Hauls10-wicket Hauls
Nathan Lyon125830.623.6050.941
Brett Lee125331.983.3557.120
Richie Benaud85218.381.9456.751
Glenn McGrath115118.642.2350.121
Mitchell Johnson145036.663.3066.510
Graham McKenzie104720.572.2654.542
Jason Gillespie104325.442.7455.610
Shane Warne144347.183.1091.210
Peter Siddle103826.813.3348.220
Ray Lindwall103620.132.0857.920

(*Note: All Statistics are as of March 4, 2017 upon the completion of the first innings of the Bengaluru Test)

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