That's not how I'd want my players to act - Root bemused by Lyon

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Bemused by Nathan Lyon's pre-Ashes war of words and the Australia spinner's stinging attack on England, Joe Root said it is not how he would want his players to act.

Lyon has been vocal leading into Thursday's opening Test in Brisbane, hopeful Australia's bowling attack of Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood and Pat Cummins can "end careers".

The 30-year-old, who was part of the Australian team that whitewashed England 5-0 in the 2013-14 Ashes series, incurred the wrath of Matt Prior after taking aim at the former wicketkeeper.

Speaking on the eve of the Gabba Test, England captain Root was asked about Lyon and he told reporters: "That's not how I'd want my players to go about things.

"That's up to him to come out and say that.

"I think it's slightly out of character. I know Nathan from playing club cricket. It doesn't seem very real."

A more concerning issue for England is the absence of star all-rounder Ben Stokes.

Stokes did not fly out with Root and the England team to Australia after he was suspended by the ECB until the conclusion of a police investigation following his arrest on suspicion of causing actual bodily harm in Bristol in September.

There are reports Stokes could link up with England from the third Test onwards, but until then, Root insisted the Ashes holders are not sweating on the 26-year-old's rumoured arrival.

"I think if you asked any captain in the world in any form of cricket 'would you prefer to have Ben Stokes in your squad?' ... they would all say yes," said Root, who is yet to decide on his England XI.

"We are very fortunate to have him as an English player and what he has produced for England has been spectacular.

"He is someone who can win you a game within a session with both bat and ball and, of course, he will be a big miss to us.

"But we have prepared well with the group we have and that is completely out of our control."