David ‘Bumble’ Lloyd claims Nathan Lyon’s costly Ashes fumble was karma for AB de Villiers incident
David ‘Bumble’ Lloyd has suggested Nathan Lyon’s costly fumble in the third Ashes Test was karma for an incident involving AB de Villiers last year.
Australia spinner Lyon was fined and handed one demerit point after running out De Villiers and dropping the ball on the South Africa legend during a Test match in 2018.
And former England coach Lloyd believes the incident may have been running through Lyon’s mind when he failed to complete an Ashes-retaining run out at Headingley last month.
With England needing just two more runs to complete a stunning run-chase, Lyon had the chance to run No. 11 Jack Leach out at the non-striker’s end but fluffed his lines.
In the next over, centurion Ben Stokes hit the winning runs to keep England in the Ashes. After five Tests, the series finished 2-2, with Australia retaining the urn having won the previous series.
‘I wasn’t working on the incredible game at Headingley but I watched the last day in our house there wasn’t a word said, we were just sat on the edges of our seats,’ Lloyd told Sky Sports.
‘Ben Stokes was just irresistible.
‘There are two things that come to mind, it is very rare that you can watch for two hours and nobody says anything and then it got down to single figures to win and Tim Paine went for the review against Jack Leach when the ball had clearly pitched outside leg stump and I just said to my wife, “that is going to come back and bite him straight on the bum!”
‘It did with the lbw decision in the next over, Nathan Lyon to Stokes.
‘I’ve obviously seen it as many times as anybody else, I’ve been an umpire and I couldn’t give that out because I’m not certain that it is hitting the stumps. I would never question the technology because it is the same for everybody.
‘Just before that Leach had gone walkabout and Lyon dropped the ball. There was then a reaction to when Lyon dropped the ball on AB de Villiers in the series against South Africa last year, which wasn’t a clever thing to do.
‘He is a world class bowler and just at that moment, it would have gone through his mind about De Villiers.
‘In any smart-alec play, always remember that it will come back and bite you. It always does!’
Steve Smith scored 774 runs in just seven innings during the 2019 Ashes series and Bumble says Australia would have struggled without him.
‘It was a fantastic Ashes series. Australia always understand that you need 20 wickets and they ensured that they had enough pacemen and that they were fit,’ he added.
‘They were able to rotate them throughout the series while the batting was carried by Steve Smith.
‘He is a complete one-off with the style that he has adapted – he and Virat Kohli are the best players in the world.
‘It is as dominant as I’ve seen a batsman in recent years but you go back to Kevin Pietersen, Brian Lara, Sir Vivian Richards and there have always been times when great players have dominated.
‘It’s a good job he did because Australia didn’t have much else. I thought Matthew Wade played pretty well but other than that…
‘The captain was non-existent really but the bowling attack was fantastic.
‘Pat Cummins and Josh Hazlewood are as good an opening bowling pair as we’ve ever seen in international cricket – they were brilliant.’