• Lyon the alpha male

    The Three Lions of England had to bow down before the Aussie Lyon, our Turbo Bowler for his actions in the first Test at Brisbane.

    It is hard to believe that the offspinner Nathan Lyon is now being referred to as ‘Goat’, the Greatest of All Time,  in recognition of the 274 Test wickets that have made him, almost unnoticed, the most successful finger-spinner in Australian Test history.

    Bowling finger spin on traditionally hard, true Australian pitches is not for the faint-hearted, but Lyon, who started out as an assistant groundsman at Adelaide, has become the first of his kind to take 100 wickets at home.

    He is not short of confidence. He annoyed many across the sea in England when he raised the temperature going into the first Ashes Test by saying he hoped Australia would end the careers of the England players.

    ‘I am not going to stand back from what I said because I am confident enough in my own bowling and I am very excited by where it is going,’ he said. ‘I know my role in the Australia cricket team. I know I am a leader.’

    He certainly backed that up. Although he took just two wickets for 78 in the England’s first innings, he bowled a spell described as the finest display of wicketless spin bowling ever seen, gaining remarkable turn on day one at the Gabba. He had an economy rate of 2.16.

    And in the second innings, he took out three top batsmen, Mark Stoneman, Dawid Malan and Moeen Ali, as the visitors crumbled to 155-6.

    Photo: Dave Hunt/EPA/BackpagePix



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