Lyon bowling like a 'genius', says Smith

Off-spinner Nathan Lyon was singled out for praise by Australia captain Steve Smith after their side's win over England.

"I thought Nathan Lyon was particularly good. He's going from strength to strength at the moment and bowling like a genius," Smith said of Lyon.   -  Getty Images

Australia captain Steve Smith labelled Nathan Lyon a "genius" after his team crushed England in the first Ashes Test.

The host completed a 10-wicket win at the Gabba on Monday as David Warner (87) and debutant Cameron Bancroft (82) saw them past its target of 170.

Smith was named the player of the match after his gutsy unbeaten 141 in the first innings set up Australia.

But the captain was keen to hail Lyon, who was a constant threat to England and finished with match figures of 5-145.

"We had to show some really, really good character throughout," Smith said in an on-field presentation.

The Ashes: 1st Test report

"Obviously we lost the toss and the wicket was a lot slower than we anticipated it would be so we had to work really hard and I thought the bowlers did a terrific job to get them out for 300 in the first innings.

"I thought Nathan Lyon was particularly good. He's going from strength to strength at the moment and bowling like a genius.

"I thought he did a terrific job holding up one end and the other guys got the wickets so obviously from there, it was some hard work at 70-4 [in Australia's first innings] and we had to dig deep and get a big total and put on a few partnerships.

"But fortunately we got ourselves in the lead and then bowled really well in the second innings and then the two boys I thought did a terrific job to get us home to a 10-wicket win."

While several batsmen made starts, only Smith was able to turn it into a century – his 21st in Tests.

The 28-year-old said it ranked among his best tons, given the situation his team was in.

"I think it would be up there [with my best], certainly for the position we were in, the first Test of an Ashes series – we always know that's very important, particularly with our record here at the Gabba, we wanted to keep that intact," Smith said.

"I had to work very hard, had to get off strike really well, boundaries were quite hard to come by so I had different plans, had to be really disciplined and resilient and fortunately it worked and we were able to get ourselves in the lead."

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