Townsville Bulletin

Lyon tips Stokes to be shock inclusion


NATHAN Lyon expects England superstar Ben Stokes to be an 11th-hour addition for the Ashes.

Stokes was not named in England’s Ashes squad that is due to leave the UK on November 4, and the all-rounder has been sidelined for months due to a finger problem and his mental health.

However, Stokes, who will forever haunt Australia with his miraculous tide-turning century at Headingley in 2019, has started batting again in the nets to open up the outside chance he might rush his comeback for the Ashes.

Lyon is adamant Australia will once again come face to face with its nemesis.

“I’m expecting him to come,” Lyon said. I’m expecting Stokes to be out here and I hope he is.

“You want to play against the best players in the world and Stokesy is the best allrounder in the world. He’s an X-factor and he’s a gamechange­r and you want to play against these players.”

No one took the Stokesinsp­ired Headingley loss harder than Lyon, who fumbled a run out which would have won Australia the match and also had an lbw shout turned down because Australia had already squandered its DRS referrals.

It was peak Ashes heartbreak as England rose from the canvas on the back of Stokes to win the unwinnable Test.

Australian great Brad Haddin agrees with Lyon on Stokes.

“I’ve seen a few things recently that he (Stokes) is started to pick a bat up again and go through his drills,” Haddin told the Topsport podcast. “There’s still enough time for him to be a twist and it wouldn’t be an Ashes campaign without a hero or a villain or without a twist.”

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