Ashes ‘would’ve been 4-0’ if I’d been fit: Lyon stokes England rivalry as he sets sights on 2027 unfinished business


Nathan Lyon believes Australia would have won the 2023 Ashes series 4-0 if he hadn’t broken down with injury.

But the veteran spinner says it’s still on his “bucket list” to be back for the 2027 Ashes series to earn the series win that was denied him when a calf injury forced him out of last year’s drawn series.

Lyon, who is still looking for his first victory in English county cricket with Lancashire, reflected on his dramatic Ashes exit in an interview with BBC Sport.

“I do believe if I was here it would have been 4-0 to Australia,” said Lyon, who had helped Australia take a 2-0 lead while suffering his series-ending injury when fielding in the second Test at Lord’s.

He then had to watch the rest of the campaign in frustration from the sidelines as England fought back to draw 2-2, and would have won the series if not for the rain at Old Trafford.

His injury left the veteran in tears and led to one of the most remarkable comeback cameos when Lyon defied his injury to hobble out to bat in Australia’s second knock.

He received applause from all quarters at the home of cricket, leaving him to finally realise he wasn’t the Australian bogeyman he had been built up to be in England.

“My wife, her parents and a good family friend were all in the crowd in tears,” Lyon said.

“I probably didn’t understand the level of respect that was shown there and then.

“That’s something that I’m grateful to be able to look back on and reflect. I always thought the majority of England hates me.”

(Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)

There’s actually nothing but total respect for the 36-year-old in England these days, but Lyon reckons he would love to grab one more crack at an Ashes series triumph in England after two drawn series.

“One hundred per cent, the bucket-list dreams for me are to win Test series here and in India,” he said.

And Lyon reckons that, meanwhile, he’ll even put up with talk of ‘Bazball’ in England.

“I don’t mind hearing about it. It’s their type of cricket. I just feel like we’ve been playing entertaining cricket for a number of years now, we just don’t need to call it a name to justify it,” he said.

“I’ve seen David Warner score centuries in a session well and truly before Bazball was invented.

“It’s up to them to keep doing it now. They’ve literally got to go at six runs an over otherwise they’re not playing Bazball. If you’re going to talk about it, you’ve got to do it.”

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