The way he going, the ever classical Nathan Lyon could well surpass legendary leg-spinner Shane Warne's record of 708 Test scalps for Australia some day, thinks former Australian off-spinner Ashley Mallett.
Lyon, who has been simply magnificent in the series against India so far with 16 scalps at an astounding average of 19.43, has now taken 334 Test wickets across 82 matches at the highest level.
He is also slated to go past Dennis Lillee’s mark of 355 wickets this summer with another four-Tests left - two each against India and Sri Lanka.
While Lyon is still far away from Glenn McGrath (563 Test wickets) and Warne (708 Test wickets), he is going as strong as ever at the age of 31.
Warne, who retired from the game aged 37 in 2007, had only 366 wickets at end of the 2000-01 season when he was 31.
Weighing in the on the whole thing, Mattley, who himself claimed 132 scalps for Australia, stated that Lyon could "easily get 700 wickets, probably more" and told AAP, "As long as he doesn’t get injured and keeps himself fit, he can go for as long as he wants with the way he’s bowling."
"He’s never put on much weight. He’s a fit bloke. He’s a tremendous bowler. He’s the linchpin of the attack. The last year or so he’s been bowling beautifully."
"What I have noticed is that batsmen are just anchored to the crease, they’re not trying to change the length. It’s the same as when batsmen played Warney, they just couldn’t use their feet," he added.
Having now dismissed Virat Kohli the most number of times in Test Cricket, Lyon exhibited why he has had an edge over the world's best batsman when he set-up the right-hander with the off-spinner before one went straight and took the edge during the second innings in Perth.
It is these dismissals that have captured Mattley's imagination on just how good the affable "GOAT" is and can be, as he further said, "He’s operating on an attacking line outside the off stump, to right-handers. Early in his career, he was bowling a bit straight but now he’s bowling a beautiful attacking line."
"Nathan’s shown, especially in the last year, great leadership qualities. He leads on the field and demonstrably through his bowling, he just seems to be the natural vice-captain," he signed off.