Nathan Lyon came from obscurity to become Australia’s latest spin bowling option. Initially a groundsman at the Adelaide Oval, Lyon was spotted by Redbacks’ coach Darren Berry in a stroke of incredible good fortune.
An outstanding season for South Australia in the domestic T20 competition saw him finish as the equal leading wicket taker with 11 scalps.
Lyon’s rise to the top was complete when he made his Test debut against Sri Lanka. It took one ball for him to announce himself on the grandest stage of them all, picking up the prized scalp of Kumar Sangakarra at first slip. It was a stunning debut for the off-spinner, who picked up figures of 5/34.
Lyon’s next achievement was one he probably didn’t want; becoming the 7th number 11 in history to top score for the team. His 14 against South Africa boosted the total to 47.
Against New Zealand, Lyon picked up match figures of 7/88; the best by an off-spinner at the Gabba.
A relatively quiet series against India was forgiven as Australia went on to win 4-0. Lyon performed admirably during the 2012/13 season and went on the VB Tour of India full of confidence.
After struggling in the First Test, Lyon was left out of the side for the second match. He came back to the team with a point to prove and took 7/94 in the first innings of the Fourth Test to spin Australia into a winning position, which the batsmen couldn't capitalise on.