Nathan Lyon Ruled Out Of Remainder Of Ashes, Backs This Youngster As His Replacement
Australia on Monday announced changes to their squad for the remainder of the series, with Lyon ruled out due to a "significant calf tear" while fielding on Day 2 at Lord's.
Australian veteran spinner Nathan Lyon has been ruled out of the 2023 Ashes series against England and he has backed 22-year-old Todd Murphy to "leave his footmarks" in the series, saying that "stock ball" is good enough to provide a different challenge to the English batters. Australia on Monday announced changes to their squad for the remainder of the series, with Lyon ruled out due to a "significant calf tear" while fielding on Day 2 at Lord's.
Reserve batter Matthew Renshaw is not in the squad but will stay in England in case another injury strikes Aussies. No replacements have been included in the revised 16-player squad. Queensland wicketkeeper Jimmy Peirson is with the team as cover for Josh Inglis, who returned home following the first Birmingham Test for the birth of his first child, as per cricket.com.au.
Australia secured a 2-0 lead in the series with a 43-run win in the second Test, despite Ben Stokes' heroic 155-run knock which brought back the memories of his Headingley knock from 2019. He smashed nine fours and nine sixes in his knock.
Australian coach Andrew McDonald confirmed that Murphy was placed well to come into the playing eleven for the third Test at Headingley after Lyon backed Murphy to hold his own against English batters. The pair have worked closely in recent days, with the youngster picking Lyon's brain on Saturday before the start of the play.
Lyon was a key player for the Aussies in the Ashes, starting the series with an eight-wicket haul in the first Test at Edgbaston in a winning effort. The 36-year-old is in no doubt about Murphy's ability to take on England batters with just 12 first-class games in his belt.
Murphy impressed during the Border-Gavaskar Trophy earlier this year against India in subcontinent conditions, taking 14 wickets at an average of 25.21. He also took the wickets of star batter Virat Kohli four times.
"His stock ball is good enough in international cricket. We have seen that in India in arguably the hardest place to bowl spin," Lyon said as quoted by cricket.com.au.
"It will be a different challenge with the England batters. If they do come at him, it provides Todd with a decent challenge. But a chance to leave his footmarks here in England. It is a big Ashes series, he is excited by the opportunity," he added.
McDonald also said that they will like to have the spinner to add balance to their attack.
"As you saw (on Sunday), at certain times, we had to do it differently without Nathan Lyon down the other end, which we have been so used to. At times it looked a little bit chaotic so we do like to have that spin option," said the coach.
Lyon injured his calf while running in from square leg boundary on Thursday and had to leave the ground immediately. On day four, he hobbled to the crease to bat at number 11 and even scored a boundary.
Lyon does not know if he will stay in England for the Ashes or fly home for rehab, he said he would there for Murphy if needed.
"I sat with Todd in the last session there (on day four) and spoke about spin bowling as we do. I have a lot of confidence in Todd. He is a great kid. He is willing to learn along the way," Lyon said.
"I have told him my phone is always on, it does not matter if I am sitting in the changeroom with him or I am sitting at home watching it in bed," he added.
Lyon is gutted to miss the series after 100 straight Tests but is adamant that it would not be the end of his Test career. The third Test will be the first Test he will miss since Lord's Test in 2013.
"I have been extremely lucky with injuries. I have been around since August 2011 and we have had 126 Test matches and I have played 122 of them," Lyon said.
"This is just a little speed bump in the road. This is not career-defining. I am hungrier than ever to get back out there," he added.
Australia squad for third Test:Pat Cummins (c), Scott Boland, Alex Carey (wk), Cameron Green, Marcus Harris, Josh Hazlewood, Travis Head, Josh Inglis (wk), Usman Khawaja, Marnus Labuschagne, Mitch Marsh, Todd Murphy, Michael Neser, Jimmy Peirson (wk), Steve Smith (vc), Mitchell Starc, David Warner
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