Natghan Lyon © Getty Images
Natghan Lyon © Getty Images

Nathan Lyon went past Hugh Trumble to become Australia’s most successful off-spinner in Test cricket. Bharath Seervi highlights Lyon’s feat and lists the top off-spinners for each team.

When Nathan Lyon picked his first wicket against West Indies in the second Test at Sabina Park he went past Hugh Trumble’s tally of 141 Test wickets to become the leading wicket-taker among Australian off-spinners. It was Nathan Lyon’s 41st Test. He picked up five wickets in the Test, taking his tally to 146. READ: Nathan Lyon surpasses Hugh Trumble to become Australia’s leading off-spinner

Tremble held the record as Australia’s most successful off-spinner for more than 111 years since his retirement in 1904. Since then there have been several leg-spinners, but no off-spinner who went past his tally of 141. While fast bowlers have ruled Australian cricket, so have leg-spinners — but no off-spinner picking up even 150 wickets is something to note. For Australia, four spinners have taken 200 wickets and all have been leg-spinners.

Shane Warne is Australia’s leading wicket taker in Tests with 708 wickets. Nathan Lyon, the off-spinner, is the fifth-highest wicket taker among spinners for Australia and the highest among off-spinners. READ: Nathan Lyon – From groundsman to star at Adelaide Oval

Most test wickets by spinners for Australia

Bowler Style Mat Wkts Ave Eco SR 5WIs 10WMs BBI BBM
Shane Warne Right Arm Leg Spin 145 708 25.41 2.65 57.40 37 10 8/71 12/128
Richie Benaud Right Arm Leg Spin 63 248 27.03 2.10 77.00 16 1 7/72 11/105
Clarrie Grimmett Right Arm Leg Spin 37 216 24.21 2.16 67.10 21 7 7/40 14/199
Stuart MacGill Right Arm Leg Spin 44 208 29.02 3.22 54.00 12 2 8/108 12/107
Nathan Lyon Right Arm Off Spin 41 146 34.73 3.15 66.10 7 1 7/94 12/286

The three most successful Australian spinners after Warne have all been leg-spinners — Richie Benaud, Clarrie Grimmett, and Stuart MacGill.

Most test wickets by off-spinners for Australia

Bowler Mat Wkts Ave Eco SR 5WI 10WM BBI BBM
Nathan Lyon 41 146 34.73 3.15 66.1 7 1 7/94 12/286
Hugh Trumble 32 141 21.78 2.27 57.4 9 3 8/65 32843
Ashley Mallett 38 132 29.84 2.36 75.6 6 1 8/59 10/144
Bruce Yardley 33 126 31.63 2.68 70.7 6 1 7/98 10/185
Ian Johnson 45 109 29.19 2.17 80.5 3 0 7/44 31625

Trumble took 10 fewer Tests than Lyon for his 141 wickets. He took nine five-wicket hauls; thrice did he take ten wickets in a Test. Lyon, on the other hand, has seven five-wicket hauls and a solitary ten-for.

With Lyon becoming Australia’s most successful off-spinner in Tests, let’s have a list of the most successful off-spinners for all the teams.

Most successful off-spinners for each team in Tests

Team Bowler Wkts Mat
Australia Nathan Lyon 146* 41
Bangladesh Sohag Gazi 38* 10
England Graeme Swann 255 60
India Harbhajan Singh 416* 102
New Zealand John Bracewell 102 41
Pakistan Saqlain Mushtaq 208 49
South Africa Hugh Tayfield 170 37
Sri Lanka Muttiah Muralitharan 800 133
West Indies Lance Gibbs 309 79
Zimbabwe John Traicos 14 4

 

-          Of the top eight teams only Australia and New Zealand have their most successful off-spinner with less than 150 wickets.

-          Hugh Tayfield, Muttiah Muralitharan and Lance Gibbs are the most successful spinners for their respective countries.

-          Lyon, Sohag Gazi and Harbhajan Singh are the only active Test players.

Current spinners with 100+test wickets (all styles)

Bowler Style Wkts Mat
Harbhajan Singh Right Arm Off Spin 416 102
Rangana Herath Left Arm Spin 261 58
Saeed Ajmal Right Arm Off Spin 178 35
Monty Panesar Left Arm Spin 167 50
Nathan Lyon Right Arm Off Spin 146 41
Shakib Al Hasan Left Arm Spin 146 40
Ravichandran Ashwin Right Arm Off Spin 124 25
Pragyan Ojha Left Arm Spin 113 24

 

-          Eight active spinners have taken 100 wickets, of which only four are regulars for their sides — Rangana Herath, Lyon, Shakib Al Hasan and Ravichandran Ashwin.