Sport Lyon-Root battle a fitting end to Ashes

21:00  07 january  2018
21:00  07 january  2018 Source:   MSN

England spinner Moeen at risk of Ashes axe

  England spinner Moeen at risk of Ashes axe Former England spinner Graeme Swann says Moeen Ali should be dropped for the fifth Ashes Test in Sydney.The England allrounder's nightmare series continued during the drawn fourth Test in Melbourne, where he failed to take a wicket and holed out cheaply with the bat.

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Past battles … Lyon and Ali’s only previous Ashes battle came in the summer of 2015 as England went on to regain the Ashes with a 3-2 series win. “The pacemen have a long line of injury problems so Lyon will be the go-to guy for Steve Smith when he wants someone to tie up an end .

Australian captain Steve Smith celebrates catching out England captain Joe Root (left) from the bowling of Nathan Lyon for 14 runs on Day 4.© AAP Image Australian captain Steve Smith celebrates catching out England captain Joe Root (left) from the bowling of Nathan Lyon for 14 runs on Day 4.

This summer started in earnest when Nathan Lyon and Joe Root squared off with Ashes barbs, now the combatants will go head to head on the final day of the five-Test series.

Root suffered a hand injury when he was struck on the gloves by a Mitchell Starc delivery at the SCG on Sunday but England's captain is expected to bat on Monday.

The tourists will resume at 4-93 on day five of the final Test, requiring a further 210 runs to make Australia bat again.

Root, who is 42 not out, looms as the biggest barrier the hosts must knock over to finish with a 4-0 series win.

English welcome Aussie County invasion

  English welcome Aussie County invasion English opener Mark Stoneman has encouraged Australian players to travel to England for stints in County cricket ahead of the 2019 Ashes. Six members of the Australian squad look set to venture to England for their first-class season later this year in an attempt to acclimatise to conditions and get used to the Duke ball.Mitchell Marsh (Surrey), Shaun Marsh (Glamorgan) and Cameron Bancroft (Somerset) have all joined County sides while Peter Handscomb, Nathan Lyon and Matt Renshaw are all expected to follow."It helps quite a bit.

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Lyon, who claimed two wickets on day four, looms as Australia's biggest weapon on a pitch that is offering plenty of turn.

The offspinner was responsible for the first of many Ashes spotfires to have ignited since England arrived.

Lyon told reporters about Australia's desire to end careers and turned the heat up on Root, highlighting how he was dropped four years ago after a miserable Ashes campaign.

Comment: Joe Root passes the character test during his moment under a broiling sun

  Comment: Joe Root passes the character test during his moment under a broiling sun It was only a matter of degree. Forty-seven in the shade or 53 in the middle. Four-nil or three-nil. An innings and how many. Today or tomorrow. With the stakes shrivelling around him, Joe Root still found something to play for. A beaten team is a beaten team, but a captain is going to be judged by the manner and margin, as much as the fact, of the defeat. England were only playing for pride, but how much pride was there? For a captain, this is no trivial question.So here he was, a boy standing on a literally burning deck.

Australian spinner Nathan Lyon , on Monday, sent out a forewarning to the Joe Root -led England Cricket Team that the Kangaroos are ready to " end careers" of the tourists like they did in their last Ashes visit when they will meet in the upcoming Ashes 2017-18 down under.

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Root fired back.

"That's not how I'd want my players to go about things," Root said at the time.

"I played club cricket with him in Prospect (South Australia) and, at the time, we weren't sure who was the first spinner."

Lyon is understood to have been unimpressed with the comparison between Root's part-timers and the offbreaks delivered by Australia's second-most prolific Test spinner.

Lyon trapped Dawid Malan lbw on Sunday, while he bowled Alastair Cook with a beautiful delivery that turned sharply and hit the top of off stump.

"The wicket is definitely suiting him," Shaun Marsh said.

"He bowled really well today and showed his class. Hopefully tomorrow he can come out and get a few breakthroughs early."

England assistant coach Paul Farbrace admitted his side has struggled to escape Lyon's "strangehold" throughout the series.

""He's had a massive effect on this series and probably, along with Steve Smith, been their star performer," Farbrace said.

"He's allowed their seamers to have decent periods of rest but he's always been a threat, always taken important wickets."

Root ready to wield axe after Ashes .
'Battle hardened' Joe Root says he is ready to wield the axe on England players failing to measure up following their Ashes defeat. Root arrived in Australia with high hopes of leading his country to a memorable victory but instead oversaw a 4-0 defeat as the tourists found themselves comprehensively outplayed.The 27-year-old has now played nine Tests Down Under across two series, losing eight and failing to experience a single success.That has left him bruised but defiant and with a clear eye towards 2021, when he wants to settle some scores and lift the urn behind enemy lines.

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