Experienced Australia bowler Nathan Lyon has defended the controversial comments he made before the first Ashes Test.
Lyon caused quite the stir earlier this week by claiming he was hoping to end the international careers of many of Australia's opponents and targeted retired wicket keeper Matt Prior for criticism regarding the last time England toured.
The off-spinner has now attempted to justify claiming England were frightened of Mitchell Johnson four years ago and how Prior left halfway through the last tour because he was scared of fast-bowling by claiming he was simply trying take the heat away from the under-pressure younger Australian players before the first Test got underway.
On Friday, Lyon picked up two wickets as Australia bowled the tourists out for 302 and finished day two on 165-4 in response.
And at the close of play, Lyon was asked to explain his remarks from earlier in the week.
“I took a lot of pressure off Tim Paine and Cameron Bancroft and I thought you guys were a bit smarter than that,” the 30-year-old said, per The Telegraph.
“I am not going to stand back from what I said because I am confident enough in my own bowling and I am very excited by where it is going.”
“I know my role in the Australia cricket team. I know I am a leader. I know I am one of the most experienced guys in the changing room. If I can go out there and share my experience with the younger guys then hopefully we can put Australian cricket in a good place.”
Although the majority of Lyon’s comments were taken with a pinch of salt by England, he is confident the Australian bowling department can swing the Test in their favour.
He added: “I am very proud of our bowling group to take the first ten wickets. We know have a massive role ahead of us in the second innings.”
But he knows England still pose a real threat, and he would be the last person to underestimate them.
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