Lyon out of Ashes with ‘significant’ calf tear

Published July 4, 2023
Australia’s Nathan Lyon struggles with his injury as he tries to run during the second Test between England and Australia at Lords on July 1. — Reuters
Australia’s Nathan Lyon struggles with his injury as he tries to run during the second Test between England and Australia at Lords on July 1. — Reuters

LONDON: Injured Australian star Nathan Lyon will play no further part in the Ashes, coach Andrew McDonald said on Monday, with the off-spinner backing Todd Murphy to pick up where he left off.

Lyon suffered a “significant calf tear” while fielding on day two of a fractious second Test at Lord’s, which Australia won by 43 runs to go 2-0 up in the five-match series.

“It’s not looking good at the moment, it’s a significant tear to the calf and it’ll be series ending,” McDonald said, with Murphy expected to replace him for the third Test at Headingley on Thursday.

“We like to have a spinner in our attack, it’s a different balance, and as you saw (on Sunday) at certain times, we had to do it differently without Nathan Lyon down the other end, which we’ve been so used to.

“At times it looked a bit chaotic, so we do like to have that spin option in the attack.” Lyon was quoted by cricket.com.au as saying he did not yet know if he would remain in England for the remainder of the Ashes or fly home for rehabilitation.

“I’ve been extremely lucky with injuries. I’ve been around since August 2011 and we’ve had 126 Test matches and I’ve played 122 of them,” said the 35-year-old, who was playing his 100th consecutive Test at Lord’s.

“This is just a little speed bump in the road. This isn’t career-defining. I am hungrier than ever to get back out there.”

He stressed he would be on hand to guide 22-year-old Murphy if required.

“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 doesn’t matter if I am sitting in the changeroom with him or I am sitting at home watching it in bed.” This time last year Murphy was a virtual unknown, before being handed a surprise Test call-up after just seven first-class matches for Victoria.

He grabbed the chance with both hands in a stunning debut against India at Nagpur in February where he bagged a seven-wicket haul in the first innings while bowling in tandem with Lyon. Cricket Australia also announced that reserve batter Matthew Renshaw would leave the squad, but remain in Britain on standby.

Published in Dawn, July 4th, 2023

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