Moeen Ali can be an England stalwart again despite Nathan Lyon mauling | Vic Marks

The spinner has been dropped after struggling in the first Ashes Test, leaving England with more questions to answer at Lord’s

Nathan Lyon has not been as vociferous at the start of this Ashes series as he was before the last one in November 2017. There has been no need and maybe there really is a return to the brave old world when Australia respected their opponents. Back in Brisbane two years ago Lyon was the cheerleader on the welcoming committee, talking of English batsmen “running scared”, of a determination to “head-butt the line” and of an Aussie team eager to “end careers”. “I didn’t end any careers,” he said. “Mitchell Johnson ended them.”

There is a suggestion that Lyon might just have ended the career of one of England’s most cherished Test cricketers, Moeen Ali, who has been dropped from the team after one match in the series. At Edgbaston Moeen, a few miles from his home, cut a sad, forlorn figure. Suddenly he was playing an alien game; nothing worked. And Lyon was Moeen’s great tormentor.

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