Ashes 2021-22: Lyon relieved after ending wait for 400th Test wicket in Australia's rout

By Sports Desk December 11, 2021

Nathan Lyon said his long-awaited 400th Test wicket was a "big relief" after the Australia spinner helped the hosts crush England in the Ashes opener.

Lyon became only the third Australian to achieve the feat in Saturday's nine-wicket victory over rivals England inside four days at the Gabba.

After almost a year of waiting, Lyon brought up the milestone as Australia claimed 77-8 to roll England for 297 in the first session in Brisbane, where the tourists had resumed on 220-2 before the sensational collapse.

Australia were set 20 runs for victory and easily reached the total following lunch, despite the loss of Alex Carey, but it was all about Lyon after the first Test.

"Relief, because I'm not so much on personal milestones I had a lot of banter going on so it probably wasn't on my mind a lot more," Lyon told reporters after finishing 4-91 to take his Test haul to 403 from 101 matches.

"But I say the next wicket is hardest to get but yes, it was a big relief."

Before Lyon, only Shane Warne (708) and Glenn McGrath (563) had taken 400 wickets or more for Australia.

Lyon – who had waited since January to join the exclusive club – also became the seventh spin bowler to take 400 wickets in men's Test cricket.

"It hasn't really hit me to be honest," Lyon, 34, said. "I'll get my phone and call my family and friends and that will probably hit a little closer to home.

"But it's something I'm very proud of, there's no doubt about that. It's been some hard toil to get it, but very rewarding."

Asked if he was less nervous now after ending his wait, Lyon replied: "I'm nervous because I care. I care about everyone in that changing room, I care about the result and playing cricket and representing Australia. I'm not nervous because I'm scared of failing.

"[Captain] Pat [Cummins] was extremely calm as captain ... I think when Australia play their best cricket, we're calm and playing with smiles on our faces and enjoying it. Pat really hit that home."

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