Lyon cherishes 'big reward'

England

Spinner Nathan Lyon is entirely pleased, after playing a leading role in Australia's surge to an unassailable four-nil Ashes series lead.

Spinner Nathan Lyon is entirely pleased, after playing a leading role in Australia's surge to an unassailable four-nil Ashes series lead.

Lyon, who snared a 100th Test match victim and a telling second-innings five-for at the Melbourne Cricket Ground, has taken 16 wickets at an impressive average of 26.93 this series.

"It has been a big reward for what we went through in England. I've felt that for a while now. I'm confident I've got the skill set to get the job done. It's good to contribute, but I'm more worried about the team. I'm more than happy to go unnoticed," said Lyon.

"We had opportunities but we fell over at the line in England, and here in Australia we've won the bigger moments and won them pretty well. We knew it was coming, to be honest."

The Australians were outdone in the United Kingdom earlier this year, but have since turned the table on the opposition in Brisbane, Adelaide, Perth and Melbourne – thanks largely to Lyon and fast bowler Mitchell Johnson's superb ability to complement each other.

Aspiring all-rounder Johnson was not part of the squad in England, but has marked a superb return to the XI with 31 wickets in four fixtures – and 149 runs in six innings, including one half-century.

"They underestimated the Australians, thinking they'd won easily in England, knew everything about Johnson – one day he blows hot but then blows cold for the next three. They had respect for the likes of Ryan Harris, Peter Siddle and Lyon, but weren't expecting the thunderbolts from Johnson," concluded former England fast bowler Bob Willis.

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