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Australia Out to 'End Careers' in Ashes: Nathan Lyon

Australia are out to "end careers" for England players in the upcoming Ashes Tests, spinner Nathan Lyon said on Monday, pointing out how the tourists finished their last visit in disarray.

AFP |November 21, 2017, 9:28 AM IST
Australia Out to 'End Careers' in Ashes: Nathan Lyon

Sydney: Australia are out to "end careers" for England players in the upcoming Ashes Tests, spinner Nathan Lyon said on Monday, pointing out how the tourists finished their last visit in disarray.

Lyon recalled the devastation caused by left-armer Mitchell Johnson in 2013-2014, when he took 37 wickets with his ferocious fast bowling as the Australians inflicted a crushing 5-0 home series defeat.

Ahead of the first Test in Brisbane from Thursday, the off-spinner said many in the England squad remain haunted by Johnson's assault, taking aim at captain Joe Root who was axed for the final Test in Sydney.

"I know Root got dropped last time when he was here, so it'd be good to get him dropped again wouldn't it? If we can start by opening up that crack, it's pretty crucial," Lyon told reporters.

"There's a lot of scars for the English guys, especially coming over here, especially when we have two guys bowling 150ks (93 mph), not just one now," he added, referring to Mitchell Starc and Pat Cummins.

On the 2013-2014 tour, Jonathan Trott was sent home with stress-related illness after the first Test, while Graeme Swann abruptly retired mid-series.

Coach Andy Flower was sacked following the Ashes thrashing and wicketkeeper Matt Prior was dropped for the last two Tests, with Lyon claiming he was "scared".

"Leading into Perth we knew... Matt Prior wanted to fly home before the game started and he was one of the senior players," said Lyon, one of three players remaining from that side.

"He was scared. It's four years ago. I think he's all right now."

Asked if he thought his team could repeat the devastation that ended careers on that tour, Lyon said: "I hope so. I didn't end any careers. Mitchell Johnson ended them."

English keeper Prior laughed off the taunts on Monday.

"If that was the case and I was scared, why didn't I go home then?" he told Britain's Daily Mail.

"That's completely ridiculous and all I can do is laugh. It's wholeheartedly untrue. I stayed out there and what hurt me more was that I got dropped for the last two Tests."

Team Rankings

Rank Team Points Rating
1 India 5211 116
2 New Zealand 3959 110
3 Australia 4320 108
4 England 5253 105
5 South Africa 3537 98
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Rank Team Points Rating
1 England 6967 124
2 India 7939 118
3 New Zealand 5347 116
4 South Africa 5602 112
5 Australia 5915 110
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Rank Team Points Rating
1 Pakistan 8926 270
2 Australia 7815 269
3 England 6407 267
4 India 12141 264
5 South Africa 6220 259
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