Former Australia captain Allan Border has called for new Test skipper Pat Cummins to not force off-spinner Nathan Lyon into tackling such long spells with the ball.
The veteran tweaker, who will resume play on day four of the first Ashes Test on 399 Test wickets, was handed a huge workload as England fought back through captain Joe Root and first drop Dawid Malan yesterday.
England will resume their second innings this morning at 2-220, trailing Australia by 58 runs. Root was on 86 overnight and Malan 80.
England began their second dig just before lunch on day three and, by stumps, Lyon had completed 24 overs, with pacemen Cummins and Mitchell Starc bowling 14 overs each and an injured Josh Hazlewood managing just eight overs.
“Nathan Lyon is struggling … for his best form,” Border said on Fox Cricket’s broadcast this morning.
“I thought he bowled some absolutely cracking deliveries yesterday.
“But if there’s any criticism from me personally it’s that they keep Nathan Lyon going for too long. He bowls lots of long spells and sometimes I think even the spinner gets tired in conditions the way they there. So it’s probably best to chop and change things a little bit more as far as the spinner just bowling from the one end all afternoon.”
Border did acknowledge that Australia’s bowling unit was hindered by the absence of Hazlewood, who’s since been cleared to bowl on day four.
“(Lyon’s big workload) might have been because Josh Hazlewood’s carrying a little niggle,” Border said.
“It’s going to be interesting to see what happens this morning with that second new ball.”