Sachin Tendulkar wasn't one of the all-time great batsmen simply because of the natural talent he possessed. What made him special was also a great cricketing brain. Since his retirement, whenever he has spoken out on cricket-related issues, he has not only made a lot of sense but has provided great insights to fans on these matters.
It seems like the enthralling Ashes series that is ongoing in England right now has caught the fancy of the Little Master as well. Before the start of play on the third day of the fourth Test at Old Trafford, Manchester, Tendulkar put out a tweet where he made a very interesting prediction.
The legendary Indian former batsman wrote that, as per his assessment, Nathan Lyon is going to play a big role in the ongoing match. He credited his instincts for this viewpoint.
In the past also, Tendulkar has praised the off-spinner. During India's tour of Australia in the 2018/19 season, he had commended Lyon as a quality spin bowler. Interestingly, Sachin also played Lyon towards the end of his career. At the Chennai Test of 2013 between India and Australia, the Australian offie had dismissed the great Indian batting maestro with a beautiful delivery that spun through the gate and hit the stump.
So, when Tendulkar praises Lyon, it is coming from not just his observations as a former cricketer but also experience of having played him. It's not every cricketer that catches the eye of the legend and elicits words of praise.
Some of the other players rated highly by Tendulkar, like Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma and Kane Williamson, have gone on to be among the most prolific cricketers. The Australian tweaker has also validated Tendulkar's words of praise in the past by performing as per expectations.
The 32-year old spinner started his career in Sri Lanka in 2011. His very first ball in international cricket produced a result that was nearly the best possible. He got Kumar Sangakkara, one of the greatest batsmen of his generation and one of the best players of spin, out in the classical off-spinner's style – caught at first slip after getting an outside-edge.
Despite occasional ups and downs through his career, Lyon remained a lion-hearted performer and since 2017 has been in exceptional form. He is now the third-highest wicket-taker for Australia in Test cricket and is only behind Shane Warne and Glenn McGrath. No wonder then that, Sachin, who wasn't troubled by even Warne, feels impressed by him.