Nathan Lyon has hailed Josh Hazlewood as one of the best three bowlers in Test cricket after the St George paceman led Australia to a strong position after day two of the second Test.
After day one had been completely washed out, Australia captain Tim Paine won the toss and sent England into bat at Lords on Thursday night (AEST) with Australia bowling the hosts out for 258.
Hazlewood had not played Test cricket since January having battled a serious back injury.
The 28-year-old was rested from Australia's World Cup campaign with an eye on the Ashes, only for the selectors to leave Hazlewood out of Australia's team for the first Test win at Edgbaston.
But the giant quick made up for lost time at Lords, snaring 3-58 from his 22 overs as the pick of Australia's bowlers after returning to the team in place of James Pattinson.
Hazlewood dismissed three of England's top four batsmen, knicking up opener Jason Roy through to Paine after just three balls.
He then trapped England captain Joe Root plumb leg before wicket before forcing Joe Denly to also edge through to Paine.
Lyon, who equaled Dennis Lillee's mark of 355 Test wickets with three scalps of his own, hailed Hazlewood's performance that put Australia in the box seat describing him as "absolutely exceptional."
"I think Josh has been a world class bowler for a long period of time. And I don't think he's got the rewards he deserves as yet in his career. I think they're to come," Lyon said.
"In my eyes Josh is up there in the top three best bowlers in Test cricket. That's in my personal eyes. I think his control of hitting that nagging length but having the skill to go both ways in and out. But then he's got a pretty strong bouncer as well and it's always usually on the money.
"I think Josh has been outstanding. I know he was disappointed to be left out of the first Test match but to come back and bowl the way he did today I thought hats off to Josh. I thought he was the pick of our bowlers."
Australia are 1-30 with Usman Kawaja (18) and Cameron Bancroft (5) the not out batsmen. Stuart Broad bowled David Warner for three.
"I don't think we've had the best day, if I'm being brutally honest," Lyon said.
"The spell from Pat Cummins after tea really set the tone for us. For our standards I don't think we were good enough for long periods of time.
"In saying that it's still a good day for Australia. We've won the toss, created more than 10 chances, we can get better and that's exciting. We were able to bowl England out on a day one wicket. We're happy with the day but we know there's a lot of improvement to be done."