Ashes 2019: Paine backs superb Lyon to play as 'long as he wants to'

By Sports Desk August 05, 2019

Tim Paine backed Nathan Lyon to keep bowling "as long as he wants to" after his star showing on day five of Australia's victory over England in the opening Ashes Test.

Steve Smith's second century of the match and three figures from Matthew Wade on Sunday meant England needed to bat out the day on Monday to avoid defeat at Edgbaston.

But the day-five conditions were perfect for a spinner of Lyon's quality and he took 6-49 to help dismiss the hosts for just 146.

In the process, Lyon became just the fourth Australian to rack up 350 Test wickets and captain Paine waxed lyrical about his quality.

"He could get plenty [of wickets] for as long as he wants to go for I reckon, he doesn't seem to have too many injuries or niggles over his career," he said. 

"The ball is coming out better than ever, he's a bit like Smithy [Steve Smith], every Test match or series they seem to get better – it's astonishing at their age. 

"If you see them train you see why, they're a great example to the group."

Steve Smith and David Warner were playing their first Test since their respective involvements in the Newlands ball-tampering scandal that shocked cricket last year.

And Paine welcomed having the experienced duo back in the dressing room.

"Yeah it certainly helps. As I said before the game those guys have played a lot more cricket in England than I have and more big tournaments and big series than I have," he added. 

"The same goes for all of our team, it's not only helping me with way they lead our group. We're all tapping into them whether captain, coach or batting coach.

"They have things they've learnt through experience that others don't know. We'd be foolish not to tap into that, they've still got a huge presence in our dressing room there's no doubt about that."

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