Ricky Ponting sends message to Nathan Lyon after fumble cost Australia Ashes victory

Nathan Lyon fluffed a chance to win the Ashes for Australia as Ben Stokes saved England (Picture: Getty)

Ricky Ponting has backed Nathan Lyon to bounce back from his costly mistake against England and urged the rest of Australia’s squad to rally around the spin bowler.

Australia appeared on the verge of retaining the Ashes after England slipped to 286-9 – losing five wickets for 41 runs – on an enthralling fourth day at Headingley.

However, Ben Stokes saved the hosts with one of the great Test match innings, scoring 135 not out from 219 balls – including a 76-run partnership with number 11 Jack Leach – to level the series at 1-1.

With England needing just two runs, Lyon had a golden opportunity to win the series for Australia by running out Leach at the non-striker’s end, but the off-spinner fluffed the chance and looked desolate after the match.

Asked about Lyon’s error, former Australia captain Ponting told ‘He’ll feel terrible at the moment, he’ll feel like he’s let his team down but that happens in the game. He’s won so many games for Australia as well. 

‘He’s got 350-odd Test wickets, so he’s done lots right through his career.

‘And we’ve all had moments like that where you’ve dropped a catch or missed a run-out or played a bad shot at the wrong time and you do feel bad about it for a while.

‘But it’s up to his mates to get him up. That’s the bottom line.’

Ponting hopes Australia’s players rally around Lyon after his fumble in Leeds (Picture: Getty)

Tim Paine has called on Lyon to recover from his mistake and lead from the front ahead of the Old Trafford and Oval Tests.

‘He’s a really important player in our side and I said to him that if our players see him dealing with it really quickly and moving on then our younger players are going to do the same,’ the Australia skipper said.

‘We then turn up to Manchester or our next training session in a much better frame of mind rather than have guys sulking or whatever you want to call it.

‘It hurts, deal with it, move on.’

Paine added: ‘It was close, tight and the crowd was loud. That was as hard as it gets for a touring side.

‘Sometimes people make mistakes and we made a couple. In the end it cost us a Test match, that and an unbelievable innings.

‘We’ve got time now to make sure we stick together and bounce back. If we get caught up in the emotion of it all and get too down on things then the series can be taken away from you really quickly.

‘The facts are that we’ve been in a position to win every Test that we’ve played in so we’re doing something right, we’ve got to keep believing in that.

‘If we can continue to execute on skill and not get caught up in the emotion, we think the next two Tests will be the same, we’ll be in a position to win them.

‘We’re not going to be sulking about it for long.’

MORE: Shane Warne blasts England hero Matt Prior for mocking Nathan Lyon following Ashes blunder


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