“If they are English, I want to get them out”: Lyon

6 Have your say

    Every Australian bowler will target England captain Joe Root in the Ashes series, offspinner Nathan Lyon says.

    Lyon said he was not surprised to hear this week England strike bowler Stuart Broad’s plans to nullify the Australian captain ahead of the first Test from November 23 in Brisbane.

    And he has a message for Broad – Australia will do the same to their skipper.

    “I know every team that comes over here targets the captain and I have no doubt, all our bowlers, we will be targeting Joe Root,” Lyon told Sky Sports Radio.

    “I am not surprised that they are going to target Steve Smith.

    “But Smith is the best batsman in the world in my book. He is more than happy to take on that pressure.

    “He has been exceptional for us the last few years and I expect no difference from Steve (in the Ashes).”

    Broad made no bones about the fact England’s bowling stocks had planned most on dismissing Smith in the five-Test series after the Australian’s 1237 Test runs in the past 12 months.

    Only India’s Cheteshwar Pujara (1252) has scored more.

    Lyon believed England had some weaknesses in a squad featuring recalled batsmen Gary Ballance and James Vince.

    “We know England have a classy side, especially with Alastair Cook, Root, Stuart Broad and James Anderson,” Lyon said.

    “But there is some inexperience there so, hopefully, we can make them feel uncomfortable, put them under pressure and take 20 wickets.

    “But anyone from one to 11, I don’t care. If they are English, I want to get them out.”

    Lyon said Australia’s attack were already primed for the first Test after watching, first hand, Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood and Pat Cummins in action in their 171-run Sheffield Shield win over Western Australia.

    Left-arm quick Starc took two hat-tricks in that match to sound his Ashes intentions.

    It also earned him a new nickname for the summer.

    “Everyone calls him The Mop now. He just cleans up the tail,” Lyon laughed.

    “That (Shield game) has really given us a lot of confidence, going into the Australian summer as a bowling group.”

    © AAP 2017