Aussie spinner Nathan Lyon says England captain Joe Root is in bowlers' crosshairs for the Magellan Ashes Series.
Australian bowlers set sights on skipper Root
Every Australian bowler will target England captain Joe Root in the Magellan Ashes Series, offspinner Nathan Lyon says.
Lyon said he was not surprised to hear this week England strike bowler Stuart Broad's plans to nullify the Australian captain ahead of the first Test from November 23 in Brisbane.
And he has a message for Broad - Australia will do the same to their skipper.Image Id: D17378095F064542A15CD321562C2FEC Image Caption: Nathan Lyon says Australia's bowlers will target England captain Joe Root // Getty
"I know every team that comes over here targets the captain and I have no doubt, all our bowlers, we will be targeting Joe Root," Lyon told Sky Sports Radio.
"I am not surprised that they are going to target Steve Smith.
"But Smith is the best batsman in the world in my book. He is more than happy to take on that pressure.
"He has been exceptional for us the last few years and I expect no difference from Steve (in the Ashes)."
Broad made no bones about the fact England's bowling stocks had planned most on dismissing Smith in the five-Test series after the Australian's 1237 Test runs in the past 12 months.
Only India's Cheteshwar Pujara (1252) has scored more.
Lyon believed England have some weaknesses in a squad featuring recalled batsmen Gary Ballance and James Vince.
"We know England have a classy side, especially with Alastair Cook, Root, Stuart Broad and James Anderson," Lyon said.
"But there is some inexperience there so, hopefully, we can make them feel uncomfortable, put them under pressure and take 20 wickets.
"But anyone from one to 11, I don't care. If they are English, I want to get them out."
Lyon said Australia's attack were already primed for the first Test after watching, first hand, Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood and Pat Cummins in action in their 171-run Sheffield Shield win over Western Australia.
Left-arm quick Starc took two hat-tricks in that match to sound his Ashes intentions.
It also earned him a new nickname for the summer.
"Everyone calls him The Mop now. He just cleans up the tail," Lyon laughed.
"That (Shield game) has really given us a lot of confidence, going into the Australian summer as a bowling group."
2017-18 International Fixtures:
Magellan Ashes Series
First Test Gabba, November 23-27. Buy tickets
Second Test Adelaide Oval, December 2-6 (Day-Night). Buy tickets
Third Test WACA Ground, December 14-18. Buy tickets
Fourth Test MCG, December 26-30. Buy tickets
Fifth Test SCG, January 4-8 (Pink Test). Buy tickets
Gillette ODI Series v England
First ODI MCG, January 14. Buy tickets
Second ODI Gabba, January 19. Buy tickets
Third ODI SCG, January 21. Buy tickets
Fourth ODI Adelaide Oval, January 26. Buy tickets
Fifth ODI Perth TBC, January 28. Join the ACF
Prime Minister's XI
PM's XI v England Manuka Oval, February 2. Buy tickets
Gillette T20 INTL Series
First T20I Australia v NZ, SCG, February 3. Buy tickets
Second T20I – Australia v England, Blundstone Arena, February 7. Buy tickets
Third T20I – Australia v England, MCG, February 10. Buy tickets
Fourth T20I – NZ v England, Wellington, February 13
Fifth T20I – NZ v Australia, Eden Park, February 16
Sixth T20I – NZ v England, Seddon Park, February 18
Final – TBC, Eden Park, February 21