Nathan Lyon and David Warner celebrate after taking a wicket during day four of the First Ashes Test. Photo: Getty Images
Nathan Lyon's former mentor at the ACT Comets, Mark Higgs, says the off-spinner has established himself well and truly as the No.1 slow bowler in the country.
Lyon predictably retained his place in the squad for the second Test at the Adelaide Oval next week and has taken a big step to keeping his baggy green for the rest of the summer.
The 26-year-old claimed the crucial wickets of England skipper Alastair Cook and wicketkeeper/batsman Matt Prior in the second innings to help Australia to a decisive win in the opening Test of the Ashes series at the Gabba.
Cook was the main stumbling block until he edged a ball to Brad Haddin when on 65, and Prior left for four when Dave Warner took a sharp catch at short leg.
Lyon was overlooked for the first two Tests of the Ashes series in England earlier this year, but performed admirably in the remaining three games to return to the top of the slow-bowling pecking order.
Higgs, the Comets coach who worked with Lyon during his time in Canberra, said his protege would continue to improve as he gained more experience. ''He should get a good run now. Lyonsy got the job probably a bit naive in first-class cricket, but he's learnt on the job and learnt well.
''He's managed to still play some good cricket and be better for it.
''It's a great learning curve that he's on and he's showed that he's resilient.''
Lyon played just a few first-class games before making his Test debut against Sri Lanka in 2011.
He proved a reliable foil for Australia's fast bowlers in the first Test, holding down one end while they did the damage at the other.
Lyon took 2-17 from nine overs in the first innings before backing it up with 2-46 off 20 overs in an economical display in the second dig.
''His plans were good and he closed off the room for their strokemakers,'' Higgs said. ''He's holding his lines tight, which is important against the likes of [Kevin] Pietersen and [Ian] Bell, who are using the width that you use as an off-spinner bowling over the wicket.
''They will come at him at some stage, but he showed he's got a strong plan.''