lyon:-no-dead-rubbers,-we-want-ashes-whitewash

Lyon: No dead rubbers, we want Ashes whitewash

Nathan Lyon also wants the hosts to maintain their winning run to boost their chances of making the final of the 2021-23 World Test Championship; 34-year-old aware England will want to salvage some pride in final two matches

Last Updated: 02/01/22 8:49am

    Nathan Lyon has taken 12 wickets in the three Tests

    Nathan Lyon has taken 12 wickets in the three Tests

    Off-spinner Nathan Lyon says there are “no dead rubbers” and Australia are focused on securing an Ashes series whitewash.

    Australia retained the Ashes last week as they took an unassailable 3-0 lead in the five-Test series ahead of the fourth match in Sydney, which begins on Wednesday.

    Lyon, who has taken 12 wickets in the three Tests, also wants the hosts to maintain their winning run to boost their chances of making the final of the 2021-23 World Test Championship (WTC).

    “I’ve never ever considered (a match) a dead rubber when you wear the baggy green and go out and represent Australia in a Test match,” said Lyon.

    “So there’s no dead rubbers. Firstly because it’s (the) Test championship, but another one, we want to go five-nil up.”

    “Obviously Ashes for me is the pinnacle, but I’d love to be part of the Test Championship final, whether that’s at Lord’s or wherever it may be in the world… A lot of work to do to get there.”

    Australia missed out on the inaugural World Test Championship final last year, won by New Zealand

    Australia missed out on the inaugural World Test Championship final last year, won by New Zealand

    Australia lead the WTC standings after their Boxing Day Test victory against England by an innings and 14 runs in Melbourne.

    Lyon, 34, is aware that “world-class” England will be desperate to salvage some pride in the last two Tests after being outplayed so far.

    England Test captain Joe Root is currently the leading scorer in the series however his bid to score his first century in Australia continues.

    “He has not scored a century but he’s got off to some decent starts and he’s made some decent scores,” Lyon said.

    “Our job is to try and restrict and try and remove each and every batter that comes out there… and I think we’ve been doing a really good job in that at the moment.

    “I don’t want to rest on our heels or anything like that. We want to get better… and try and put Joe under a lot more pressure when he first comes to the crease so he doesn’t get a start.

    “But at the end of the day, he’s a world-class player.”

    Australia will be without batsman Travis Head for the Sydney Test after he tested positive for Covid-19, however all other squad members, staff and families have returned negative results in the most recent round of testing.

    Mitchell Marsh and Josh Inglis, who were called up as cover, are to join the squad later on Sunday, along with opener Marcus Harris.

    Nic Maddinson will remain in Melbourne as a standby player, Cricket Australia added.