Australia does not have the advantage going into Brisbane - Lyon

Australia does not have the advantage going into the Brisbane Test despite its good record at the venue and injuries to the Indian team, says Lyon.

Nathan Lyon celebrates after the dismissal of Ajinkya Rahane on Day Five of the Sydney Test. - AP

Australia does not have the advantage going into the fourth Test in Brisbane despite its good record at the venue and injuries to the Indian team, according to off-spinner Nathan Lyon.

India will be forced to field a second-string bowling attack with all their premier fast bowlers, including Jasprit Bumrah and spin-bowling all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja, ruled out with injuries.

“I wouldn’t say that [Australia has the advantage]. You look at the class throughout the Indian squad, yes they will be missing a couple of big players but they have got a talented squad they can pick from,” Lyon said during a virtual press conference on Wednesday.

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“To be honest, we have to worry about our preparation. We can’t look too far at what they are doing. As bowlers, we are very well suited for the Gabba and hopefully we can put them into play nice and early when we have the ball in hand.”

Australia heads to the venue having won 33, drawn 13, tied one and lost eight out of the 55 matches played in Brisbane.

“We do have an amazing record here at Gabba, we do have the confidence and we know how to play a really positive brand of cricket here at Brisbane. But we can’t rest on that. We know how talented India are and how hungry they are to win this series.”

Praise for Ashwin

Lyon was effusive in his praise for fellow off-spinner R. Ashwin, saying he had done well to adapt to the Australian conditions.

“Ashwin has bowled very well. I have said throughout my career that he is a world-class bowler. Absolutely incredible to watch, he has definitely adapted well coming in to Australia, so hats off to him.”

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Talking about team-mate Steve Smith, who was accused of scuffing up Rishabh Pant’s guard in Sydney, Lyon said: “I’m really disappointed with the way that everyone has jumped on the back of him. He’s played close to 80-odd Test matches and I think he’s done that in every Test match he’s ever played,” Lyon said.

“Even though we weren’t batting in the rest of that Test, he was still thinking about batting and he does it to help me as well. He’s looking at where I should pitch the ball, what pace I need to bowl on that wicket, so it’s all about conversation,” he added.

Lyon said captain Tim Paine, who came under fire after his verbal duel against Ashwin in the third Test, showed great character by owning up to his mistakes after the contest.

“I think Paine showed a lot of humility and a great leader attitude to put his hand up and say that he didn’t play the game he wanted to play. Yes, we didn’t have the game we wanted, he probably became too emotional in the game but he’s owned that.”

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