Nathan Lyon on Friday said he was not carried away by the prospect of overtaking legendary Richie Benaud to become Australia’s second most successful spinner during the forthcoming two-Test series against Bangladesh.
Off-spinner Lyon needs just one wicket to equal Benaud’s mark of 248 in the first Test beginning at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium in Dhaka on Sunday.
A second scalp in the match will take Lyon, who has 247 wickets from 67 Tests, just behind Australia’s all-time spin wicket-taker Shane Warne.
“I have always said from my first game to this game, I am not about personal success,” Lyon told reporters in Dhaka.
“I will sit back at the end of my career and look at where I get to on the wickets column. For me, it is about playing well for the Australia cricket team,” he said.
Lyon was expected to lead Australia’s spin attack in the Bangladesh Tests as the visitors play their first series against the hosts in more than a decade.
The opening Test will be the first between the two countries since Ricky Ponting’s side toured Bangladesh in 2006, clean-sweeping the series 2-0.
Bangladesh, who only attained Test status in 2000, have moved on from that defeat, and hope to build on the recent good form to impress fans with a series win on home soil against Australia.
All-rounder Shakib Al Hasan already delivered the opening salvo in the build-up to the Test match, claiming the hosts have a better spin attack than the Australians for the Bangladeshi conditions.
Lyon was not prepared to join the debate.
“Both teams haven’t come up against each other so it is a big statement to come out and say that,” he said.
“But everyone’s entitled to their own opinion. We are just worried about what we are doing, to be honest.
“They can come out and say whatever they want. We are training and preparing well. We are looking forward to the challenge that lies ahead,” he said.
Lyon insisted that before facing the spinners, Bangladesh batsmen must handle the fearsome Aussie pace attack.
“We have got three very good fast bowlers in the squad with Josh Hazelwood, Pat Cummins and Jackson Bird who can get the ball moving in these conditions,” he said.
“We have seen them do it before in Sri Lanka and India. I don’t think it will be any different in Bangladesh.
“I think for us Australians will be about bowling in partnerships and bowling well together to take 20 wickets,” said Lyon.
The second Test of the series will be held in Chittagong from September 4-8.