Australia’s cricketers want to end the test careers of some Englishmen while winning the Ashes, spinner Nathan Lyon says.
Lyon has fanned the flames ahead of the first test in Brisbane from Thursday, saying some English batsmen remain scarred from their last Ashes series in Australia.
“Could we end some careers? I hope so,” Lyon has told English journalists.
“I know Joe Root got dropped last time when he was here so it would be good to get him dropped again.
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“‘If we can start by opening up that crack, it’s pretty crucial.
“There’s a lot of scars for the English guys, especially coming over here, especially when we have two guys bowling 150kmh and not just one now.”
Lyon accused some England batsmen of being frightened when facing pace ace Mitchell Johnson during Australia’s 5-0 home series whitewash in 2013-14.
“Seeing Mitchell Johnson scare all the P… was unbelievable,” Lyon said.
“I was at leg slip and I nearly had to push a couple of the guys back towards the stumps.
“Leading into Perth we knew that they were broken. We knew Matt Prior wanted to fly home before the game started and he was one of the senior players. He was scared.”
The 2013-14 series in Australia hastened the end of the test careers of Englishmen including Jonathan Trott, Graeme Swann and Kevin Pietersen.
Prior and current captain Root were dropped during the series and coach Andy Flower lost his job after the whitewash.
But Prior described Lyon’s comments as laughable.
“If that was the case and I was scared, why didn’t I go home?,” Prior has told English media.
“It’s completely ridiculous and … wholeheartedly untrue.”
Lyon said Australia’s current pace attack of Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood and Pat Cummins were quicker than the nation’s 2013-14 attack led by Johnson and also featuring Ryan Harris and Peter Siddle.
And the offspinner rated Hazlewood as the best bowler in the world.
“He can swing the new ball in and out, he can seam it, he can bowl fast, he can bowl a nice bouncer, he can reverse an old ball,” Lyon said.
“His consistency, the pace he bowls at and the way he controls the game is incredible. In my book he’s the No 1 bowler in the world.”