Australian off-spinner Nathan Lyon expects Ben Stokes to play in Ashes 2021, despite not being named in the 17-men English squad.
After all the dark clouds, The Ashes is finally set to get underway in December. The Gabba will host the first test, where the Australian team possesses an excellent record. However, the hero of last Ashes, Ben Stokes will not play in the series.
Ben Stokes has not played a single game since July due to a finger injury and mental health issues. He recently had a second operation on his injured finger. Although, he has started light training in England. The gun all-rounder, whose Headingley heroics are still fresh, is not a part of England’s 17 men Ashes squad.
English coach Chris Silverwood has denied putting any timeframe for the return of Ben Stokes. “there will be no pressure from me for him to rush back”, Silverwood said.
📸 2020 Wisden-MCC Cricket Photo of the Year winner
Photographer: Gareth Copley
Photo: Ben Stokes celebrates hitting the winning runs during the third Ashes Test Match between England and Australia at Headingley. pic.twitter.com/dx8LT7YLrr
— ICC (@ICC) April 25, 2020
Nathan Lyon on Ben Stokes
Australian off-spinner Nathan Lyon, however, expects Ben Stokes to make a late return in the Ashes.
“I’m expecting him to come,” Lyon said.
“I hope he is. You want to play against the best players in the world.
“Stokesy is the best all-rounder in the world. He’s an x-factor, a game-changer, and you want to play against these sort of players.”
Lyon strikes and Stokes departs.
— Wisden (@WisdenCricket) August 15, 2019
Lyon is just one wicket away from completing 400 wickets in test cricket.
Nathan Lyon’s Ashes 2021 preparation
Lyon suffered a concussion fear earlier this week but is now set to feature in the upcoming Shield game against Victoria. He has not played a single competitive game since April and is preparing for the Ashes.
The off-spinner has revealed that he has been working on his fitness and some mystery balls for the upcoming Ashes.
“A couple of mystery balls, always got a couple of mystery balls,” Lyon said.
“I’ve already started looking at a couple of England’s batters, so that’s exciting.”
Nathan Lyon has scalped 85 wickets against England in test games, which includes two 5-wicket hauls.