Nathan Lyon in staggering Ashes brag after big call on David Warner
The Aussie Test star has kept the shots coming ahead of the Ashes series.
Nathan Lyon has doubled down on his 5-0 Ashes prediction – and believes under-pressure opener David Warner will be a key figure in delivering a series whitewash thanks to some help from the home side. Lyon made headlines around the cricketing world this week after declaring Australia would win all five Ashes Tests in scenes reminiscent of former paceman Glenn McGrath's bold pre-series forecasts.
And the game's all-time leading spin bowler, who is just 18 wickets away from the magical 500 mark, is not backing away from his remarks. Asked if he had any second thoughts about making the 5-0 call, Lyon told Yahoo Sport Australia: "Not at all. I find it a pretty stupid question to ask a professional athlete if they think they can win.
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"You can understand my response - I do believe we can and I do believe we will. If I'd said anything else, people start questioning what are you doing."
Lyon can find no weaknesses in the Australian XI, showing no concern over speculation about Warner's future following some indifferent form over the past two years. He's backed his long-time teammate to get the job done, warning England the opener is ready to exploit the batter-friendly wickets and short boundaries likely to be served up.
"There's a lot of talk about Davey. But knowing him, when his back's against the wall he usually comes out with the goods," Lyon said. "It's a career he should be extremely proud of and, as the saying goes, you never write off the true champions of the game.
"I've played a lot of cricket with him and I'm definitely backing him, especially if they're talking about having flat wickets and small boundaries. I think that's going to really suit Davey's game."
Nathan Lyon reacts to Jofra Archer blow for England
Lyon expressed disappointment fiery England fast bowler Jofra Archer would miss the Ashes due to injury and was not surprised the Poms had opted for Jonny Bairstow over a specialist wicketkeeper in Ben Foakes. "To be honest with you, you never want to actually see anyone get injured," he said.
"You want to play against the best players at all times but unfortunately Jofra's got a pretty significant injury. Bairstow's selection (over Ben Foakes) is not something that overly surprised any of us, but really we've just focused on us over the past three to four months.
"I think that's something we’ve done really well – just look at what we're doing." The Australians will leave later this month for the World Test Championship against India at The Oval, a tasty precursor to the Ashes series.
One of Lyon's last assignments before flying out is headlining a sportsman's lunch with Kerry O'Keeffe to raise funds for Stewart House, an organisation in Sydney's north assisting young children with educational, health and well-being programs.
It’s part of the 35-year-old's ongoing support for charitable projects around the country in his role as ambassador for Cricket Australia's National Inclusions Program (supporting deaf, blind and disabled cricketers).
Lyon said: "It's massively important to me to support these various programs and charities. We are role models and if I'm able to help give back, I am more than happy to do that. And if we can put some smiles on faces along the way, even better."
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