Australian cricketer Nathan Lyon.
Australian cricketer Nathan Lyon.

Aussies brace for ball tampering sledgefest

RECALLED Australian ODI spinner Nathan Lyon says Australia will just have to cop the banter from English cricket fans over the ball-tampering scandal in South Africa.

Test stalwart Lyon, who was very surprised to get his first ODI call-up since 2016, has a good idea of what to expect in next month's five-match series against current world No.1-ranked England.

"I''ve never played in England where they haven't given it to us," Lyon said.

"There's no point taking some tissues out with us, we've just got to stand out there and cop it."

The most experienced Test player in the squad, Lyon has appeared in just 13 ODIs.

Nathan Lyon in action for Australia’s ODI team in 2016.
Nathan Lyon in action for Australia’s ODI team in 2016.

He expects Josh Hazlewood and himself will need to show leadership for an otherwise inexperienced attack in the absence of injured pacemen Mitchel Starc and Pat Cummins.

Batsman Aaron Finch was named vice-captain behind wicketkeeper Tim Paine and Lyon wasn't anticipating he would be get an official leadership position anytime soon despite playing 78 Tests.

"It's not on my radar, I'm a big one for believing you don't need a label to be a leader," he said.

"But if the opportunity came there I wouldn't say no to it, if I could help Tim Paine out." The series in England represents the first activity for the Australian men's team since the ill-fated tour of South Africa.

"It's a good chance for Australian cricket to move on and a good chance for Australian players to rebuild the trust and faith of the Australian public and earn back their respect," Lyon said.


He believed the hefty bans for Steve Smith and David Warner would leave massive holes in the Australian team, but represented great opportunities for young batsmen.

He said he would not have any issues playing alongside Smith, Warner and Cameron Bancroft after their respective suspensions.

Lyon last played an ODI in August 2016 in Sri Lanka and was surprised to get a call-up for the England series after revealing national selector Trevor Hohns hadn't rated his chances very highly when they talked in Johannesburg several weeks ago.

Asked what message he had got from Hohns, Lyon said '"It's a great opportunity for you to push your claims for the World Cup in 2019.

"It's well documented I that I want to play in all three formats for Australia, that's my goal.

"To get this opportunity and be included in the squad and to head over to England, where the World Cup is being played that's going to be a massive advantage."

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