Nathan Lyon expects Ben Stokes to play, England vs Australia, team news, squad, latest

Nathan Lyon has declared he expects recovering England all-rounder Ben Stokes to be parachuted into the England squad for the Ashes campaign – and has delivered a warning to England’s batters.

Stokes has been rehabilitating from two surgeries on a broken left index finger he suffered during the Indian Premier League in April, while he has also taken an indefinite break from cricket for mental health reasons.

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But last week the 30-year-old shared footage of himself facing up to a net session for the first time before this week showing himself bowling in the nets, raising the prospect he could be a late inclusion to England’s squad.

That’s something Lyon hopes and expects to happen.

“I’m expecting him to come. I’m expecting Stokes to be out here and, to be honest, I hope he is,” Lyon said, per the Sydney Morning Herald.

“You want to play against the best players in the world and Stokesy is the best all-rounder in the world. He’s an X-factor and he’s a game-changer, and you want to play against these players, so I’m expecting Stokes to be here.”

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Stokes famously monstered Australia’s bowling attack – Lyon included – at Headingley in the 2019 Ashes campaign to secure a famous win for England. Stokes finished on an unbeaten 135 in a stunning 76-run partnership with No. 11 Jack Leach (1*), after Lyon fluffed a run-out opportunity in the dying moments.

But the Australian spin stalwart couldn’t be more excited about the Ashes, promising something special for England’s batters after a full pre-season working on his skills.

“I’ve always got a couple of mystery balls,” he told the Sydney Morning Herald. “That’s been the beauty about this pre-season, it’s been my first ever proper pre-season. I’ve been able to do a lot of fitness work and a lot of skills work. I’ve already started looking at a couple of England’s batters, so that’s exciting.”

Lyon is set to feature in NSW’s first Sheffield Shield game of the season when they face Victoria from Wednesday.

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