Today's Birthday 20/11

Callum Godde
Nathan Lyon made his Test debut in 2011 and plays domestic cricket for NSW

Today's Birthday, November 20: Australian cricketer Nathan Lyon (1987 - )

From humble groundsman to Australia's greatest off-spinner, Nathan Lyon beat the odds.

After helping Australia retain the Ashes with 20 wickets, Lyon is expected to return to the Test arena on Thursday as Australia hosts Pakistan at the Gabba in their series opener.

At 32, Lyon has shown no signs of slowing down and in October flagged plans to keep bowling for years to come.

It raised the prospect of him joining the likes of Australian legends Shane Warne (708) and Glenn McGrath (563) in the exclusive 500 Test wickets club.

Only seven men have achieved the feat but, with 363 wickets already, it's not inconceivable that Lyon could join them.

Barring injury or poor form, he'll have five Tests against Pakistan and New Zealand this summer to continue his march up the all-time Test wickets list.

He's used the Sheffield Shield as a platform into the first Test after being overlooked for the recent T20 series despite emerging as Australia's main spinner at the 2019 World Cup.

Born in the southwest NSW country town of Young in 1987, Lyon wasn't even a teenager when he made his senior cricket debut.

He fancied himself as a batsman in his junior years but also tried his hand at wicketkeeping and seamers.

But it was his nifty tweakers that stuck, with Lyon moving to Canberra to further his spinning talents while also working as an apprentice groundsman at Manuka Oval.

After unsuccessfully trying out for South Australia, the Adelaide Oval assistant curator found his way onto the state's T20 squad in 2010-11 after then-coach Darren Berry spotted him rolling a pitch and requested he bowl in the nets.

The rest is history as he was rushed into the Test squad for Australia's tour of Sri Lanka in 2011, taking 5-34 on debut in Galle.

He was dropped twice in 2013 but regained his spot, snapping Australia's revolving door of spinners since Warne's retirement in 2007.

Originally dubbed the "GOAT" in jest, Lyon has had the last laugh - passing the 300-wicket barrier in 2018 to ensconce himself in the record books.