The Ashes: Adam Lyth keen to adopt leading Ashes role for England

Adam Lyth is confident he is an ideal fit at the top of the order for England’s new attacking brief in Test cricket.

England and Yorkshire's Adam Lyth.

The Yorkshireman will go into the second Ashes Test at Lord’s with a mixed record in his short international career to date – one hundred in six innings, but with a second-highest score of only 37.

That came as he and Ian Bell made good on orders to keep Australia under pressure, despite the loss of two early wickets, to help England consolidate their lead en route to a 169-run win in the first Test at Cardiff.

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Lyth has a reputation in county cricket as a fluent batsman, and appears happy to have moved up to the highest level at a time when that is just what England want too.

“I’ve got to try and play my way,” he said.

“If it’s there to be hit, if it’s a half-volley, I’ll hit it.

“We know we’ve got to play to our strengths. I am an attacking batsman, but respect the conditions and respect the bowling.”

He and Bell had to achieve that balance at the SSE SWALEC, where England established a first-innings lead of 122 but then found themselves 22-2 second time round.

The advice from coach Trevor Bayliss remained clear.

“We spoke about the third innings; it wasn’t about batting time, (but) about going out there and putting pressure back on the Aussies,” added Lyth.

“We just said ‘if it’s there to be hit, we’ll take ‘em on’.

“It paid off and if we get in that position again, I don’t think we’ll play any different.”

To continue to conform then, Lyth needs only to play his natural game – and he insists he already feels at home in Test cricket.

“Yes, I do,” said the 27-year-old, who is nonetheless aware there will be no easy runs – especially against Australia.

“Opening the batting against these quality bowlers, you’re going to get some low scores.

“It’s about keep believing what my strengths are and I’m sure I’ll be fine.”

After three matches, he knows another century at the home of cricket would be decidedly handy.

“I’m doing okay at the minute,” he said.

“Obviously, I’d like more runs. But I think the way I’ve gone about my business, opening the batting, has been good.

“I’ve got one hundred. I hope I can get out there this week, get past the new ball, cash in and try to get another one.”

The Ashes have come early in his Test career, and Lyth added: “It’s been fantastic – to be a part of something very, very special is a great honour.

“It was great to be a part of a winning side at Cardiff.

“We outplayed them in all three parts of the game.

“I’m moving well and playing well.

“I copped a decent ball in the first innings, and a great catch in the second innings.

“So confidence is very high in my game, and fingers crossed there will be some runs out there this week.”

While Lyth hopes to have a personal achievement to celebrate, much of the discussion so far this week has been about Australia’s apparent decision to decline an invitation from England captain Alastair Cook to share a beer after the first Test.

Lyth is the second England player to speak publicly on the topic – and like James Anderson before him, he confirmed the invitation will still stand after Lord’s.

“I’m sure the door will be open and I hope we’ll share a beer,” he said.

“It would have been nice to have them in to share a beer, but it’s up to them.

“Likewise, I’m sure if we get beat here, we’ll be knocking on their door with a few beers. It’s their choice, isn’t it?”

Stuart Broad will be out to press on from his career tally of 292 wickets towards 300 when the two teams meet again tomorrow.

If successful, it would make him one of only five Englishmen – including his team-mate James Anderson, the most prolific of all from this country – to reach the elite benchmark.

And, after helping England win three Ashes Test series prior to this summer, it is wickets against Australia that Broad clearly likes best.

“I grew up on Ashes cricket. I like the battle of it, I suppose,” he said Broad, whose father Chris hit centuries in three consecutive Tests on England’s successful 1986/87 tour. “I just enjoy it. The Aussies will always challenge you in different ways.”

“There are certainly questions being asked about their team.

“A month ago you would have flipped that around – there were questions about our team and not so much about Australia. That is credit to how we have played.”