Nathan Lyon Test records: Australian spinner within striking distance of two Shane Warne records against West Indies

So much for pink ball tests that only cater to the quicks.

Seven years after the inception of the day-night format, this week Nathan Lyon is poised to become Adelaide’s leading Test wicket taker.

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Australia’s offspinner needs another scalp against the West Indies to get past Shane Warne after joining the Test legend with 56 wickets in last year’s win over England.

Notably, Lyon’s wickets are more favorable with a pink ball on the ground, at 24 for a 25.12 average.

Once a curator in Adelaide, Lyon claims part of this is due to the extra grass left on the wicket for a pink ball that offers more grip for his tweakers.

Nathan Lyon before the first test against West Indies. Recognition: James Worsfold/Getty Images

“It’s a mix of everything,” Lyon said.

“The way Damian (Hough) produces the wicket with the moisture levels, the grass levels and the thickness of it.

“It all adds up to a great wicket and is probably why this venue is a premier world class venue here.”

The pink ball is one of them.

While the ball doesn’t do anything else for Lyon, the spinner says batsmen find life harder.

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“You talk to the thugs, and some thugs find it difficult to pick up the stitches at night,” Lyon said.

“So possibly (they) bowl a few more variations, simple things like cross-stitching and such, to try and keep the dough in mystery.”

The other record Warne’s Lyon can break in Adelaide is in combination with Steve Smith.

Smith’s two catches in Lyon’s fourth-innings numbers of 6-128 in the first Test in Perth put the pair level with Warne and Mark Taylor’s Australian-record 51 cases from bowling Lyon, Smith caught.

Steve Smith and Nathan Lyon in the first Test against the West Indies. Recognition: Quinn Rooney/Cricket Australia via Getty Images

That alone is significant considering Lyon flips the ball back to the right hand as opposed to the ball going edge off the legspinner.

“It can be difficult to catch the ball when it turns into the right hand and the edge goes away from the goalkeeper or the slips,” Lyon said.

“Smithy actually texted me this message yesterday and said congratulations we’re level with (Taylor) and Warnie. When you look at it that way, it’s quite remarkable.

“I love having Smithy there and he gives me a lot of feedback on different speeds and how the form looks.”

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Steph Curry’s crazy trick shot video goes viral Nathan Lyon Test records: Australian spinner within striking distance of two Shane Warne records against West Indies

James Brien

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