Cricket

The Ashes | Australia eyeing a whitewash: Lyon

Australia's Nathan Lyon celebrates with teammates. File

Australia's Nathan Lyon celebrates with teammates. File

Australia will press for an Ashes series whitewash against England to boost its chances of making the final of the 2021-23 World Test Championship (WTC), spin spearhead Nathan Lyon said on Sunday.

The home side has already claimed an unassailable 3-0 lead in the five-Test series and the importance of maintaining its winning run was not lost on Lyon.

“I’ve never ever considered (a match) dead-rubber when you wear the baggy green and go out and represent Australia in a test match,” Lyon said.

“So there’s no dead-rubbers. Firstly because it’s (the) Test championship, but another one, we want to go five-nil up.”

“Obviously Ashes for me is the pinnacle, but I’d love to be part of the Test championship final, whether that’s at Lord’s or wherever it may be in the world. A lot of work to do to get there.”

Australia could not make the inaugural WTC final last year but leads the standings after its red-hot form.

World class

Lyon was aware that “world class” England would be desperate to salvage some pride in the last two Tests.

While Joe Root’s future as England’s Test captain looks in doubt, the 31-year-old is currently the leading scorer in the series though his quest for his first century in Australia continues.

“He has not scored a century but he’s got off to some decent starts and he’s made some decent scores,” Lyon said.

“Our job is to try and restrict and try and remove each and every batter that comes out there and I think we’ve been doing a really good job in that at the moment.

“I don’t want to rest on our heels or anything like that. We want to get better and try and put Joe under a lot more pressure when he first comes to the crease so he doesn’t get a start. But at the end of the day, he’s a world class player.”


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Printable version | May 17, 2022 4:06:20 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/cricket/the-ashes-australia-eyeing-a-whitewash-lyon/article38094585.ece