Lyon not sorry for controversial pre-Ashes comments

Nathan Lyon has claimed he was trying to take the pressure off Tim Paine and Cameron Bancroft with his comments before the first Test.

Nathan Lyon picked the wickets of Moeen Ali and Chris Woakes in Australia's first innings   -  Getty Images

Nathan Lyon refused to retract his controversial pre-Ashes comments, having claimed Australia is out to "end careers" in their quest to regain the urn and suggested former England wicketkeeper Matt Prior wanted to go home during the last Ashes tour as he was "scared".

The spinner followed up his brilliant run out of James Vince on day one with impressive bowling figures of 2-78 in 36 overs, thereby playing his part in Australia bowling England out for 302, after the visitor had been 246-4.

After watching Steve Smith (64 not out) and Shaun Marsh (44no) guide Australia from 76-4 to 165 without any further damage, Lyon claimed there was a reason for his outspoken approach before a ball had been bowled.

"Well, I took a lot of pressure off Tim Paine and Cameron Bancroft, so I thought you guys [the media] were a little bit smarter than that," Lyon said. "It is what it is. I'm not going to stand back from what I said."

Asked if his comments about Prior were unkind, he replied: "Let's go, next question."

Lyon extracted plenty of turn on the first two days and believes he is bowling better than ever.

"My confidence has grown a large amount over the last 14 months," he said. "I've worked hard in the nets with John Davison and I've really nailed down my consistency and knowing my game inside out, and knowing what works really well for me.

"The comments that I said before the match, it has nothing to do with the way I'm bowling now. It's a team game. I know my role in the Australian cricket team. I know I'm a leader, I know I'm one of the most experienced guys in that change room. If I can go out there and share my experience with the younger guys, then hopefully we can put Australian cricket in a good place.

"I'm very confident with where my bowling is at, at the moment. I feel like I'm bowling very well. The way it's coming out of my hand, it's probably coming out the best it's ever come out. I know my role and I'm looking forward to the rest of this series."

For more updates, follow Sportstar on :