Nathan Lyon has insisted crowd taunts had no effect as he bounced back from the disappointment of a major error to help Australia retain the Ashes. The off-spinner, a key figure in Australia’s 251-run win in the first Test at Edgbaston, found himself routinely mocked on social media and in person after he missed a chance to run out last man Jack Leach before England completed a dramatic one-wicket victory in the third Test at Headingley.
That result left the Ashes all square at 1-1, with Lyon on the receiving end of ironic cheers every time he gathered the ball cleanly during the fourth Test at Old Trafford. But Australia’s 185-run success in Manchester completed Sunday meant they kept hold of the Ashes at 2-1 up in a five-Test series ahead of this week’s finale at the Oval in south London.
The 31-year-old Lyon did not seem that impressed with the taunts at the time but, speaking to travelling Australian media, he said: “To be honest with you, you hear it for the first over or two then it just becomes white noise. “When you’re a professional sportsman, your job is to come out and bowl well, and compete against whoever you’re playing,” added Lyon, Australia’s third-most successful all-time Test bowler with 359 wickets in 90 matches.
“I didn’t really feel it or hear it at the back end so it doesn’t worry me.”
Australia will win their first Ashes series in England for 18 years if they avoid defeat at the Oval, with Lyon saying: “Right now, it probably hasn’t sunk in, but as a kid growing up, and as soon as I got my Baggy Green (Australian cap), the biggest goal in my career has been to win the Ashes away.
“We’re 2-1 up and I want to go 3-1 up, and when we hold the urn up at The Oval it’s going to be an amazing feeling.”