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Lyon challenges England’s batsmen

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wikimedia/Kushagra khanna/CC BY-SA
wikimedia/Kushagra khanna/CC BY-SA

MELBOURNE (Reuters) – Australia spinner Nathan Lyon threw down the gauntlet to England’s batsmen yesterday, challenging them to hit him out of the attack at Adelaide Oval in the second Ashes test.

The 30-year-old has returned to his former home ground in top form ahead of the test, which starts on Saturday, after taking five wickets in Australia’s easy win at the Gabba.

Lyon took on a big workload in the series-opener but bowled with impressive economy, conceding less than 2.5 runs an over.

With none of England’s batsmen taking the attack to the offspinner, Lyon invited them to go on the offensive.

“I think if they did do that, it does definitely play into my hands,” Lyon told reporters at the stadium.

“I like it when opposition guys try to attack me and try to whack me out of the attack.

“But it’s a part of the game. No doubt England will come prepared and they’ll have a different plan for me compared to what they had in the first test. But it is what it is.

“It’s about adapting, it’s about enjoying the challenge and embracing the game of cricket.”

Lyon was criticised in the leadup to the Gabba test for saying he hoped Australia could end careers during the Ashes series.

He was more generous yesterday, saying Joe Root’s team were a “classy” side and that the Yorkshireman’s bowlers would be favoured by the conditions.

“I think with the pink ball, it’s going to suit their bowlers,” said Lyon.

“We know they’re going to come back bigger and better and stronger.

“It’s not going to be a walk in the park. We need to make sure that we respect them.”

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