Spinner Nathan Lyon urges Australia to ‘play ugly’ in India Test series
Australia off-spinner Nathan Lyon believes the team may have to ‘play ugly’ to get results in the difficult four-Test series in Australia starting late next month. Lyon said Australia must do well in India to announce themselves as a world-class team.
“Recent history tells us that over the past 10 years India has lost just four of 49 Tests at home – two to South Africa and two to England,” wrote Lyon in his column in the Sydney Morning Herald.
“Touring there tests you physically and mentally. It puts every area of your skill and resilience under the microscope. To stand up and play well in India is to announce yourself as a world-class team and that is what we want to do. We may have to play ugly to score runs and take wickets.”
Australia swept aside Pakistan 3-0 in the recent home Test series in a sign of revival, but a much tougher test awaits in India, where they are scheduled to play four Tests in Pune, Bengaluru, Ranchi and Dharamsala, beginning February 23. On their last tour in 2013, India routed Australia 4-0 and left the team in turmoil.
Nathan Lyon said the key to Australia’s performances would be how quickly they adjust to Indian pitches. His own performance will be crucial if the visitors are to battle it out against India.
“They’re going to be spin-friendly but India’s batsmen are probably the best players of spin in the world, so we’re going to have to be patient. In India, Test matches tend to start slowly but they can speed up very quickly. It’s about hanging in there and trying to win the big moments throughout the day,” wrote Lyon.
Lyon said despite a lack of experience, the team had the belief that it can produce the results. “Most of our new-look team have never played a Test in India. With all the recent changes only (skipper) Steve Smith, David Warner, Matt Wade and myself are survivors from 2013. Seven of us remain from last year’s tour of Sri Lanka, which presented similar conditions.
“But there is an energy and a belief in this young group which we saw during the second half of the summer. The way they play their natural game gives me the confidence we can climb cricket’s biggest mountain.”