The Lyon lip!

The statements of Nathan Lyon about some of the English players were tasteless to say the least and trying to whip up an anti-Pom feeling by bad mouthing one of their former players is simply not correct.

Don’t let the benign look fool you. Australian spinner Nathan Lyon had some nasty things to say about England’s former wicketkeeper Matt Prior.   -  GETTY IMAGES

The most hyped up cricket series in the world is the one between Australia and England, also called ‘The Ashes.’ I am not sure if the Australians are as obsessed with it as England is, for England’s media seems to be writing about every Ashes series even a year before it’s due to be played.

The Australians get excited about it just a month or so before the series begins and if it is in Australia then they go berserk trying to build up hatred towards their former rulers. The Queen is still the titular head of Australia and despite the Aussies regularly indulging in Pom bashing, they can’t take that final step to disassociate themselves from the Queen.

The Aussie players also get sucked into the hype and with their media baiting them, come up with some of the nastiest things that any player can say. The statements of Nathan Lyon about some of the English players were tasteless to say the least and trying to whip up an anti-Pom feeling by bad mouthing one of their former players is simply not correct.

Lyon himself is not exactly Mr. Brave when facing quick bowlers and so for him to suggest that Matt Prior wanted to go home in the middle of the series because Mitchell Johnson was bowling quick is nothing but a busload of codswallop.

Nobody likes fast bowling and we have seen the Aussies reeling against the West Indians and against Steyn and Co. in South Africa. They didn’t like it one bit and to put on an act as if they are the bravest of the brave is again a whole heap of rubbish.

Glenn McGrath was no paragon of virtue when it came to the verbals, but he was always entertaining with his usual predictions of a whitewash. He would suggest that he was going after the captain and the number one batsman, but never in the crude manner in which Lyon has done.

McGrath was proven right more often than not but that was a great Australian team that he was part of and it never resorted to this kind of below the belt gamesmanship. It didn’t have to as it was confident about its ability to beat England without the pre-tour verbals. It’s now when the Aussies are being beaten by all and sundry that they feel the need to indulge in this kind of talk which does nothing but diminish the game.

Just before the last England tour of Australia a newspaper had offered a reward for abusing Stuart Broad every single moment he was on the field. Why was Broad singled out? Because earlier in the year in the Ashes series in England he did not walk when he was caught at first slip. To rub salt into Aussie wounds he then went on to not only get more runs, but also shared a partnership that took the game away from the Aussies. So, instead of looking at its bowling which was unable to prise out a lower order batsman and the tailenders, the media decided to make Broad the villain. The Australian coach went to the extent of suggesting that since he had been caught at first slip he should have walked forgetting that the Australians walk only when their car breaks down!

This is where the Aussies get it wrong. They feel it’s alright for them to indulge in gamesmanship, but not okay if others do the same. So, they would have no qualms about suggesting that their word be taken if they take a catch close to the ground, but at the same time not walk even if they have got a thick edge. Thus, if their word is not accepted when they are fielding they get upset, but think nothing of not walking when they know they are out. Incredible double standards.

The Test series has started and Australia won the first Test by 10 wickets, but after the comments of Warner and especially from Lyon, the neutrals would certainly want their mouths to be shut by the English in the remainder of the series.

When it comes to England it is its media, which invariably turns neutral against it with its silly build-up of all its sports teams, but now the Australians are also not helping themselves with the way their media and cricketers are following their old masters.