Nathan Lyon, Australia's esteemed off-spinner, has made headlines once again, this time taking a swipe at the much-talked-about Bazball strategy.
Despite a closely-fought 2-2 Ashes series, Lyon remains unimpressed with Bazball's impact on the Test cricket scene and has vowed to return to England for the 2027 Ashes.
The 35-year-old tweaker, often hailed as Australia's greatest-ever off-spinner, suffered a calf injury during the series at Lord's, leaving the Aussies in disarray.
Lyon had proven to be the tourists' best option with the ball in the first two Tests, finishing 2-0 against England's new-look side. However, he could only watch from afar as Brendon McCullum's team clawed their way back into the Ashes, ending the series in a draw.
In a recent interview on SEN's The Run Home, Lyon expressed his determination to return for the 2027 Ashes in England, despite the significant challenge that awaits him at the age of 39. He revealed that the injury and time spent away from the game have fueled his hunger for cricket and motivated him to come back stronger.
“I'll tell you one thing, I’m definitely not joking about going back to the Ashes,” Lyon said.
“I’m definitely not writing off going back to England for the Ashes… the finish line for me hasn’t even popped up in my eyesight yet, I’ve still got a lot of cricket left in me in my eyes.”
Lyon's disdain for Bazball was evident in his comments, dismissing its impact during his encounters with the format.
“I know everyone keeps talking about BazBall, to be honest, I didn't really see BazBall… throughout my two Tests against them,” he said.
Referring to his success in those games, Lyon emphasized that an attacking brand of cricket can still prevail without the need for Bazball's high-risk tactics.
“BazBall” is a term associated with Brendon McCullum's aggressive and attacking style of cricket, which focuses on hitting boundaries and pushing the scoring rate to the extreme.
However, Lyon believes there's a lot of “smoke and mirrors” with Bazball and emphasized the importance of understanding the moments in the game rather than relying solely on aggressive play.
Nathan Lyon 2 – 0 Bazball
“I’m 2-0 in my Tests against BazBall,” Lyon said, reminding that Australia won both Tests in the series in which he played.
“I look at the Australian cricket team and the batters we’ve had, David Warner for example. I’ve seen him score hundreds in a session and that’s off playing an attacking brand of cricket.
“I think there’s a lot of smoke and mirrors with BazBall, if I’m being honest with you, and I feel like if you’re going to play an aggressive brand of cricket anyway, it’s about being able to go up and down in gears and understanding the moments in the game.”
The off-spinner's views on the format come as he completed an unexpected move to the Melbourne Renegades in the Big Bash League (BBL). Lyon signed a three-year deal with the Renegades after spending ten seasons with the Sydney Sixers. While he expressed surprise at not finishing his career with the Sixers, Lyon is now looking forward to joining the Renegades and enjoying the T20 format that he thoroughly enjoys.
As he continues his recovery from the calf injury, Lyon assured fans that he would be fit for the commencement of BBL|13 in December this year. With his determination to return to the cricketing scene and his recent move to the Renegades, Lyon is poised to make his mark in both domestic and international cricket in the years to come.
While Nathan Lyon's comments might raise some eyebrows among cricket enthusiasts, there's no denying his passion for the game and his commitment to overcoming challenges. As the 2027 A
shes draw closer, cricket fans will eagerly await Lyon's return to England, where he will undoubtedly leave no stone unturned in his quest to make a lasting impact once again.