Lyon behind public rendition of team song
It was not exactly surprising that Australia hurtled inexorably to a three-day finish in Sydney to complete their Ashes clean sweep, but what was unexpected was the public singing of the team song barely minutes after the final wicket fell. So hurried was the huddle and raucous rendition that Channel Nine didn't even have time to consider bleeping out the penultimate word.
Nathan Lyon might appear the shyest of the eight custodians of the team song, but he is the one who has brought "Underneath the Southern Cross I Stand" to the public. After securing the Ashes in Perth, the squad sang the song on the WACA pitch several hours after the match finished; in Sydney they did it with cameras around them. It wasn't a PR stunt, but rather a letting out of all the feeling that had built up in this squad over the past ten Ashes Tests.
"That was pretty emotional to beat those guys 5-0, it was something we were all pretty proud of," Lyon said. "I was speaking to Brad Haddin, who I'm pretty close with in the side, and we thought it would be a good idea. It hasn't been done before. There was a lot of emotion running high and we thought it was a great time. I'll give you the tip, it wasn't the only time we sung the song. We got all the coaching staff and all the important people around us to be part of it [later] as well."
They sung it more than once; they sung it more than twice. And who could blame them? Lyon took over as leader of the song when Michael Hussey retired in January. It was not until ten Tests later that an opportunity to celebrate arose. A 4-0 defeat in India and a 3-0 loss in England made it all the sweeter when success came at the Gabba.
"It was a tough start to 2013," Lyon said. "Throughout those nine Tests [in India and England] it wasn't the best thing but we had the feeling that something special was building up and it was great to get the result in the Australian summer. Credit to Darren Lehmann and Michael Clarke, they've really brought us close together. It's like a family out there and it's an unbelievable team to be a part of.
"It's the best bowling attack that I'll ever play in. To have the backing of Michael Clarke, the skipper, but then you've got Mitchell Johnson, Ryan Harris, Peter Siddle and Shane Watson, it's fantastic. We work well together and we don't mind who takes the wickets, as long as we're doing the right things by each other and helping each other out, we'll keep going well."
The Australia attack took all 100 possible England wickets throughout the five Tests, something Australia have never before achieved in a five-Test Ashes series. Lyon might have been overshadowed by the fast men, Mitchell Johnson in particular, but he certainly played his part in the triumph by claiming 19 wickets at 29.36.
"Quicks certainly dominated this series and I was lucky enough to play a little bit of a role in hopefully helping those guys take some wickets as well," he said. "I was lucky enough to be able to part of a great team and it's something I'm pretty proud about.
"I feel really confident in my own skill set right now. The way they're coming out you can't ask for any more. There's still a lot of work to do and a lot of places I want to go."
South Africa in February-March is one such place. But on Monday, it was the furthest thing from his mind.
"Not right now," he said when asked if he had one eye on the South African series. "I'm trying to recover and keep celebrating for a couple more days."
Brydon Coverdale is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. He tweets here