Lyon’s ‘brutally honest’ take on Aussie display
After the touring side bowled England out for a modest total on day two of the second Test, the champion off-spinner declared there was plenty to improve
Sam Ferris at Lord's Cricket Ground, London
16 August 2019, 08:07 AM AEST
Despite bowling England out for 258 after winning the toss and electing to bowl, Australia off-spinner Nathan Lyon says day two of the second Test could have been a lot better for his side.
Lyon feels Australia should have bowled out England for a cheaper total having reduced the hosts to 6-138 inside 46 overs but put down three catches in what was their first sub-par day in the field of the series so far.
"I think if you look at today I don’t think we have had the best day, if I am being brutally honest," said Lyon, who captured 3-68 on Thursday to move alongside legendary fast bowler Dennis Lillee as the third-highest Test wicket-taker for Australia.
"Josh Hazlewood (3-58) was absolutely exceptional and the spell from Pat Cummins (3-61) after tea really set the tone for us.
"For our standards, I don’t think we were good enough for long periods of time.
"In saying that it’s still a good day for Australia; we’ve won the toss, we’ve created more than 10 chances, we haven’t played catch today, so we can get better and that’s exciting.
"But we were still able to bowl England out for 258 on a day-one wicket.
"We're happy with the day but we know there is still a lot of improvement to be done."
The three catches the Australians put down by were no means easy but should have been taken at Test level.
Usman Khawaja was perhaps standing too close at gully when a thick edge from the bat of Rory Burns hit him in the chest before he could get his hands in place.
Wicketkeeper-captain Tim Paine put down a low, one-handed catch to his left off the bowling of Peter Siddle (1-48) to give Burns his second life, while David Warner covered enough ground to reel in in a top-edged hook shot from Stuart Broad but couldn't hold on.
But Lyon says it was the impatience of Australia's bowling attack as England regrouped with a 72-run seventh-wicket partnership between wicketkeeper-batter Jonny Bairstow (52) and seam-bowling allrounder Chris Woakes (32) that frustrated the most.
"We're playing Test cricket, playing against the best players in the world, there are going to be partnerships here and there," he said.
"That's where it comes back to us bowlers hanging in there and doing the basics for long periods of time, challenging their defence.
"I don't think we did that probably well enough for Australian standards – the standards we have in our bowling cartel and in that changeroom.
"It's a positive sign that we can get better."
England opener Rory Burns says the hosts left runs out in the middle of Lord's but says the match hangs in the balance at 1-30 with Australia trailing by 228 runs.
"It's tight, isn't it?" said Burns, who made a team-high 53.
"It's a competitive total, we'd obviously have liked more runs if we could have eked them out but I think the seamers kept everyone interested all day.
"It's poised quite nicely."
2019 Qantas Ashes Tour of England
Australia squad: Tim Paine (c), Cameron Bancroft, Pat Cummins, Marcus Harris, Josh Hazlewood, Travis Head, Usman Khawaja, Marnus Labuschagne, Nathan Lyon, Mitchell Marsh, Michael Neser, James Pattinson, Peter Siddle, Steve Smith, Mitchell Starc, Matthew Wade, David Warner.
England squad: Joe Root (c), Moeen Ali, Jimmy Anderson, Jofra Archer, Jonny Bairstow, Stuart Broad, Rory Burns, Jos Buttler, Sam Curran, Joe Denly, Jason Roy, Ben Stokes (vc), Olly Stone, Chris Woakes.
First Test: Australia beat England by 251 runs at Edgbaston
Second Test: August 14-18,Lord's
Third Test: August 22-26, Headingley
Tour match: Australians v Derbyshire, August 29-31
Fourth Test: September 4-8, Old Trafford
Fifth Test: September 12-16, The Oval