Nathan Lyon has criticised suggestions that he went out to bat at Lord’s on Saturday “to get hit in the head”.
The Australian off-spinner had been unable to take part in the second Ashes Test since suffering what looks certain to be a series-ending calf injury while fielding on Thursday. But he made a remarkable cameo appearance towards the end of his side’s second innings.
With Australia desperate to set England as challenging a target as possible, Lyon effectively batted with one leg as he and Mitchell Starc put on 15 runs for the last wicket.
While commentating for Sky Sports, Kevin Pietersen questioned whether Lyon had gone in to bat with the intention of being hit on the head, which would have allowed Australia to substitute him for spinner Todd Murphy.
“Imagine if he had been hit on the head and got concussion, he’d have got a like-for-like replacement and a world-class spinner, based on how he performed in India, it gives food for thought,” Pietersen said.
Lyon responded to those suggestions at the post-match press conference.
“Test cricket’s been around a lot longer than I have and injuries are part of the game. I have heard comments that I only went out there to get hit in the head but I’m really against that. I have lost one of my mates [Phil Hughes in 2014] due to being hit in the head so I think that’s a really poor conversation being had, if I’m honest with you.”
— England Cricket (@englandcricket) July 1, 2023