Lyon ruled out of Ashes series as Todd Murphy prepares for Leeds call-up

Written by Shreyas Vyas

Off-spinner Todd Murphy is “well-placed” to be selected for the third Test at Headingley where Australia will attempt to win the Ashes in England for the first time in 22 years, after Nathan Lyon was ruled out of the remainder of the series.

Lyon, one of the heroes of Australia’s second Test victory at Lord’s, tore his calf while fielding, and although he was unable to bowl for the rest of the match he inspired teammates and fans by hobbling out to bat in the second innings to help stretch the team’s lead.

The news that he would take no further part in the series was expected but was still a major blow as the tourists seek to close out the series. The 35-year-old is the most successful off-spinner in Australian history with 496 Test wickets.

Cricket Australia also confirmed that spare batter Matthew Renshaw would leave the squad but stay in the UK as a standby player. The selectors will not call another bowler into the squad to replace Lyon, preferring to take 16 possible players to Leeds, where the third Test starts on Thursday.

Murphy, 22, is likely to come into the XI to replace Lyon, following his impressive debut series in India this year, although the selectors will not make a decision until they have assessed the conditions at Headingley. Paceman Scott Boland, squeezed out of the team to make way for Mitchell Starc at Lord’s, is also in contention.

“Too early to tell. Short turnaround, we’ll assess where everyone’s at and assess the surface and weather conditions up there. But Todd is pretty well-placed,” coach Andrew McDonald said.

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Shreyas Vyas