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London, July 3 – Premier spin bowler Nathan Lyon has been ruled out of the remainder of the Ashes series after suffering a significant calf tear, with Australia confirming two squad changes ahead of the third Test, starting on July 6 at Headingley.
Lyon suffered the injury while fielding on the second day of the Lord’s Test. He didn’t bowl in the match thereafter but hobbled from the field at Lord’s on Thursday evening with what was later diagnosed as a significant calf strain.
The diagnosis was confirmed On Monday when Australia trimmed their squad from 18 to 16 for the upcoming third Test.
This brought to an end his remarkable streak of 100 consecutive Tests. Lord’s was his 100th Test in a row and his 122nd overall. He is just the sixth man in Test history to play 100 Tests in a row and the only bowler to do it.
The 35-year-old has also never missed a Test through injury until now. The Headingley Test will be the first one Lyon will miss since Lord’s in 2013, when he was omitted for the first two Tests.
Reserve batter Matthew Renshaw has also been released from the Australian squad but will remain in England and be available should injury strike the touring party again.
No replacements have been included in the revised 16-player squad.
Lyon’s absence opens the door for young spinner Todd Murphy, who won a place in the Ashes squad on the back of an impressive debut Test series in India earlier this year.
Australia coach Andrew McDonald has said Murphy was well placed to come straight into the XI for the third Test beginning on Thursday at Headingley after Lyon backed his young prodigy to hold his own in the Ashes cauldron.
“His stock ball is good enough in international cricket. We have seen that in India in arguably the hardest place to bowl spin,” Lyon was quoted by cricket.com.au
“It will be a different challenge with the England batters. If they do come at him, it provides Todd with a decent challenge. But a chance to leave his footmarks here in England. It is a big Ashes series, he is excited by the opportunity,” he said.
Australia squad: Pat Cummins (c), Scott Boland, Alex Carey (wk), Cameron Green, Marcus Harris, Josh Hazlewood, Travis Head, Josh Inglis, Usman Khawaja, Marnus Labuschagne, Mitch Marsh, Todd Murphy, Michael Neser, Jimmy Peirson, Steve Smith (vc), Mitchell Starc, David Warner