On Monday, Australia’s right-arm spin spearhead Nathan Lyon was declared out for the rest of the Ashes series owing to a calf injury.
Australia took a commanding 2-0 lead in the five-match series after winning the second Test by 43 runs on day two. The 36-year-old off-spinner was playing in his 100th consecutive Test for Australia when he suffered a “significant calf tear” in the field.
He did not return to bowl or play defense following the injury, but he did limp onto the field to bat in Australia’s second innings, contributing 15 crucial runs.
Since Cricket Australia has not announced any replacements for the third Test, fellow off-spinner Todd Murphy is set to take Lyon’s position.
Only 12 first-class games into his career, 22-year-old Murphy excelled on his first trip to India for a Test earlier this year.
In four Tests, he took 14 wickets at an average of 25.21, including seven for 124 in his first match in Nagpur. As much as four times during the series, he took the life of Virat Kohli.
This will be the first Test in which Murphy has been used as the sole spinner.
Murphy’s standard ball is adequate for use in international competition. Lyon was cited as saying on ‘cricket.com.au‘, “We have seen that in India in arguably the hardest place to bowl spin.”
The England batters present a new sort of difficulty. If they do attack, it will be a good test for Todd. However, the opportunity to make a lasting impression in England. He is thrilled by the prospect, as this Ashes series is quite significant.
While it is unclear whether Lyon will remain in England or travel to Australia for rehabilitation, the seasoned spinner has offered his services to mentor Murphy.
In the final practice (on the fourth day), Todd and I had our usual conversation about spin bowling. I trust Todd a great deal. He’s a really kind child. He is open to learning new things as he goes.
“I’ve told him my phone is always on, whether I’m sitting in the locker room with him or watching TV in bed,” Lyon added.
On Thursday, the third Ashes Test will begin in Headingley, making it the first Test Lyon has missed since Lord’s in 2013.
When it comes to injuries, I’ve lucked out a lot. Since I joined the team in August 2011, we’ve played a total of 126 Test matches, of which Lyon has participated in 122.
Just a small hiccup in the path, so to speak. It won’t make or break your career. I want to get back out there more than ever. Matthew Renshaw, the squad’s backup batter who also played in the field for Lyon on the final day of the Lord’s Test, has been discharged from the squad but will remain in England in case the tour party suffers any further injuries.