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Lyon rejects talk of Australia easing up

147   //    27 Dec 2017, 18:31 IST
Nathan Lyon - cropped
Australia off-spinner Nathan Lyon

Nathan Lyon insists Australia have not taken their foot off the gas with the Ashes regained, after England dominated day two of the fourth Test at the MCG.

Already 3-0 up in the series, Steve Smith's side reached 244-3 on Boxing Day after choosing to bat first, but found themselves under the pump 24 hours later.

Australia initially collapsed to 327 all out, losing their last five wickets for the addition of 13 runs, and then saw England reach 192-2 in response as Alastair Cook finally found form with an unbeaten 104.

Asked if Australia had eased up, Lyon told a news conference: "No, definitely not.

"Our training preparation was exceptional, we missed out in the first innings a little bit, but our preparation was exceptional over Christmas and into the first day.

"There's never a dead rubber if you ask me. You're playing Test match cricket for your country, you want to go out and play well."

Cook more than doubled his series run-tally with his fifth Test hundred in Australia, while England skipper Joe Root was also in the runs and finished the day unbeaten on 49.

"There was going to be a time in this series where they stand up," Lyon added. "As a bowling attack we've been happy to take Cook's wicket early but he showed his class today.

"Credit to England, they're two world-class batters on a pretty flat wicket. I'm pretty proud of the bowlers' efforts, the way we stuck at it."

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