Australia spinner Nathan Lyon ruled out of remaining Ashes Tests by calf tear
Australia spinner Nathan Lyon has been ruled out of the remainder of the Ashes series.
Lyon suffered a “significant calf tear” while fielding on day two of the second Test at Lord’s, which his side won in thrilling fashion to open up a 2-0 series lead.
Australia just need to avoid defeat in the third Test at Headingley this week to retain the urn, but must now do it without their 496-wicket spinner.
Eager for runs to add to England’s second-innings chase, Australia sent a stricken Lyon out to bat late on Saturday afternoon, with images of the 35-year-old limping out to the middle sure to go down in Ashes folklore.
As it happened, the 15-run partnership he put together with Mitchell Starc were not needed as Australia won the Test by 43 runs, but the memories of Lyon’s bravery will endure.
Todd Murphy is Australia’s spinning replacement for Lyon, with the 22-year-old working closely with Lyon behind the scenes in readiness for this moment.
“His stock ball is good enough in international cricket. We have seen that in India in arguably the hardest place to bowl spin,” Lyon told Cricket Australia’s official website.
“It will be a different challenge with the England batters. If they do come at him, it provides Todd with a decent challenge. But a chance to leave his footmarks here in England. It is a big Ashes series, he is excited by the opportunity.
“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.”