Despite speculation that Australia may be tempted to field four seamers against England in the first Ashes Test in Brisbane coach Darren Lehmann insists spinner Nathan Lyon will be in the XI.
Australia’s much vaunted ‘big four’ of Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood, Pat Cummins and James Pattinson generate a lot of excitement but Lyon’s value is clear to the coach.
Lyon put in a star turn in Bangladesh bagging 22 wickets including three successive six wicket hauls and the coach is impressed by his development as a player.
Speaking after the series wrapped up Lehmann said: “He’s really grown.
“We changed the set-up of the side 12 months ago and we’ve had a lot of young guys come in the group.
“He’s had to take a next step as a leader so really pleased with the way he’s gone about that.”
Lehmann isn’t overly eager to set his Ashes plans in stone this far out from the start of the series but is pretty sure Lyon will be in the first Test XI.
He went on: “Nathan is going to play. There’s no doubt about that.
“At the end of the day we just have to see how it all pans out. With injuries, the bowling stocks, how they all come back and what the wicket is like.
“That’s still a long, long way away. We’ll just look at the conditions in Brisbane in two months’ time when we get there and work out what we do.”
Lehmann was also full of praise for Cummins who shouldered the pace bowling responsibilities in the heat of Chittagong solo.
He said: “He was exciting, wasn’t he?
“And that’s what you get from Patty.
“So it’s pleasing he’s put some Test matches together now and hopefully he can do that in the summer for us. He’s got some raw pace and he hits the bat a lot harder than you think, so pleased for him.
“I don’t think we’ve done it for however long with one quick. He did a great job.
“From our point of view just pleased he got through.”
The Ashes gets underway in mid-November at the Gabba with England currently in possession of the urn.