Australian bowlers set sights on skipper Root | cricketnetwork.com

Australian bowlers set sights on skipper Root

09 November 2017

Aussie spinner Nathan Lyon says England captain Joe Root is in bowlers' crosshairs for the Magellan Ashes Series.

Every Australian bowler will target England captain Joe Root in the Magellan Ashes Series, offspinner Nathan Lyon says.

Lyon said he was not surprised to hear this week England strike bowler Stuart Broad's plans to nullify the Australian captain ahead of the first Test from November 23 in Brisbane.

And he has a message for Broad - Australia will do the same to their skipper.

Nathan Lyon says Australia's bowlers will target England captain Joe Root // Getty
Nathan Lyon says Australia's bowlers will target England captain Joe Root // Getty

"I know every team that comes over here targets the captain and I have no doubt, all our bowlers, we will be targeting Joe Root," Lyon told Sky Sports Radio.

"I am not surprised that they are going to target Steve Smith.

"But Smith is the best batsman in the world in my book. He is more than happy to take on that pressure.

"He has been exceptional for us the last few years and I expect no difference from Steve (in the Ashes)."

Broad made no bones about the fact England's bowling stocks had planned most on dismissing Smith in the five-Test series after the Australian's 1237 Test runs in the past 12 months.

Only India's Cheteshwar Pujara (1252) has scored more.

Lyon believed England have some weaknesses in a squad featuring recalled batsmen Gary Ballance and James Vince.

"We know England have a classy side, especially with Alastair Cook, Root, Stuart Broad and James Anderson," Lyon said.

"But there is some inexperience there so, hopefully, we can make them feel uncomfortable, put them under pressure and take 20 wickets.

"But anyone from one to 11, I don't care. If they are English, I want to get them out."

Lyon said Australia's attack were already primed for the first Test after watching, first hand, Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood and Pat Cummins in action in their 171-run Sheffield Shield win over Western Australia.

Left-arm quick Starc took two hat-tricks in that match to sound his Ashes intentions.

Watch Starc's two hat-tricks back-to-back

It also earned him a new nickname for the summer.

"Everyone calls him The Mop now. He just cleans up the tail," Lyon laughed.

"That (Shield game) has really given us a lot of confidence, going into the Australian summer as a bowling group."

2017-18 International Fixtures:

Magellan Ashes Series

First Test Gabba, November 23-27. Buy tickets

Second Test Adelaide Oval, December 2-6 (Day-Night). Buy tickets

Third Test WACA Ground, December 14-18. Buy tickets

Fourth Test MCG, December 26-30. Buy tickets

Fifth Test SCG, January 4-8 (Pink Test). Buy tickets

Gillette ODI Series v England

First ODI MCG, January 14. Buy tickets

Second ODI Gabba, January 19. Buy tickets

Third ODI SCG, January 21. Buy tickets

Fourth ODI Adelaide Oval, January 26. Buy tickets

Fifth ODI Perth TBC, January 28. Join the ACF

Prime Minister's XI

PM's XI v England Manuka Oval, February 2. Buy tickets

Gillette T20 INTL Series

First T20I Australia v NZ, SCG, February 3. Buy tickets

Second T20I – Australia v England, Blundstone Arena, February 7. Buy tickets

Third T20I – Australia v England, MCG, February 10. Buy tickets

Fourth T20I – NZ v England, Wellington, February 13

Fifth T20I – NZ v Australia, Eden Park, February 16

Sixth T20I – NZ v England, Seddon Park, February 18

Final – TBC, Eden Park, February 21