Lyon stamps authority on England as Ashes open
NATHAN Lyon wasted no time in proving what an indispensable role he now plays in Test cricket, claiming the prized scalp of England’s captain and best batsman Alastair Cook to send a clear message of his abilities on day one of the Ashes.
The Australian off- spinner must have thought it was Groundhog Day when he turned up in Cardiff to hear talk that he might miss the first Test.
Lyon – with more wickets than any offie Australia has ever had – was under the pump.
Australia ultimately abandoned any possibility of launching into England with an all- out pace attack, and Lyon responded with a per- formance that suggested the theory should never have been contemplated in the first place.
It’s now clear that Lyon is a man who should be backed in all conditions and circumstances and the counter balance he provides in Australia’s high- voltage attack is crucial.
Speed and power might be the foundation of how Aus- tralia plays its cricket, but it was the craftsmanship of Lyon that claimed the big wicket on the opening morning of Australia’s bid to break 14 years of hell on English soil.
England were beginning to settle at 1- 41 having seen off the opening assault from the quicks, when Lyon was given his chance.
Then just two balls after the drinks break, Australia’s greatest ever off- spinner snuck under the guard of England’s greatest ever runscorer, and Brad Haddin did the rest with a sharp catch behind the stumps to send Cook on his way for 20.
By lunch the brakes were on for England at 3- 88.
Lyon sent an immediate message that England can disrespect him at their peril.