Nathan Lyon: Australia should retain Tim Paine ‘as he is best keeper in the world’

Nathan Lyon

Spinner Nathan Lyon has called for Tim Paine to retain his spot in Australia’s side after the Tasmanian resigned as captain over inappropriate behaviour.

The 36-year-old announced he was stepping down from the role on Friday, less than three weeks before the beginning of the Ashes, following revelations about a sexting scandal.

Lyon, who has formed a strong partnership with the gloveman appointed to lead his country following the cheating scandal in 2018, told reporters on Thursday that Paine should still be selected behind the stumps.

“The selectors said they were going to pick the best available XI. In my eyes, Tim Paine is the best keeper in the world,” Lyon said.

“This is very selfish: From a bowler’s point of view I want the best gloveman behind the stumps.

“Every bowler’s relationship with the keeper is exceptional.”

Wet weather ensures England’s Ashes warm-up match has to be abandoned

The New South Wales product said Paine was a “very lovable guy and very well respected”, indicating the former captain has the team’s backing to take on England when the series begins in Brisbane.

Lyon said: “I’m pretty sure I’m speaking on behalf of every bowler that we want the best keeper.

“He’s got my full support and I 100 per cent guarantee he’s got the full support of the Australian change room,” the 34-year-old added.

Meanwhile, play was abandoned on the third day of England’s warm-up against England Lions due to rain at Wellington Point, with Haseeb Hameed (53) and Rory Burns (39) both unbeaten at the crease.

England will take on Australia in the first Test at the Gabba from December 8 and the fifth and final Test is scheduled for Perth’s Optus Stadium on January 14.

Ashes squads

England squad:Joe Root (Captain), Ben Stokes, James Anderson, Jonathan Bairstow, Dom Bess, Stuart Broad, Rory Burns, Jos Buttler, Zak Crawley, Haseeb Hameed, Dan Lawrence, Jack Leach, Dawid Malan, Craig Overton, Ollie Pope, Ollie Robinson, Chris Woakes, Mark Wood.

Australia Squad: Pat Cummins, Cameron Green, Marcus Harris, Josh Hazlewood, Travis Head, Usman Khawaja, Marnus Labuschagne, Nathan Lyon, Michael Neser, Jhye Richardson, Steve Smith, Mitchell Starc, Mitchell Swepson, David Warner

Additional Australia A players: Sean Abbott, Ashton Agar, Scott Boland, Alex Carey, Henry Hunt, Josh Inglis, Nic Maddinson, Mitchell Marsh, Matt Renshaw, Mark Steketee, Bryce Street.

Ashes 2021/22 Schedule: Full list of fixtures
December 8-12, First Test – Gabba, Brisbane, 10am local/12am GMT
December 16-20, Second Test (Day/Night) – Adelaide Oval, Adelaide, 2.30pm local/4am GMT
December 26-30, Third Test – MCG, Melbourne, 10.30am local/11.30pm GMT
January 5-9, Fourth Test – SCG, Sydney, 10.30am local/11.30pm GMT
January 14-18, Fifth Test – Optus Stadium, Perth, 10.30am local/2.30am GMT