Pujara will be a big challenge for rest of series: Lyon

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23 Dec 2020 | 05:08 AM

Pujara will be a big challenge for rest of series: Lyon

The 33-year-old had dismissed a well-set Pujara for 43 in the first innings of the Adelaide Test, which Australia won by eight wickets



Australia's "in-depth" planning to subdue Cheteshwar Pujara worked out well in the opening Test but spinner Nathan Lyon says it would be a massive challenge to keep the "world-class" batsman quiet through the remainder of the series.

Lyon said the home team has a couple of more surprises lined up for the Pujara, who is considered crucial in the Indian batting line-up for his doggedness. The second Test begins on Saturday in Melbourne.

"I can't reveal secrets, to be honest with you. But, obviously, Pujara is a world-class batter and he is going to be a big challenge for us for the rest of the series," 33-year-old Lyon said at a virtual press conference on Wednesday (December 23).

"We spoke about him (Pujara) in depth before the series started, it was good to see a couple of plans come off in Adelaide, but we have got a couple more things.

"So, hopefully, if he does get in, we can put into ploy...it is always fun challenging yourself against the best players in the world and Pujara is definitely one of those guys," added the senior spinner but refused to elaborate on his plans.

Lyon had dismissed a well-set Pujara for 43 in the first innings of the Adelaide Test, which Australia won by eight wickets.

Lyon also said India have got enough players to fill in the "big hole" left by talismanic skipper Virat Kohli, who has returned to India for the birth of his first child.

"...Ajinkya Rahane and (Cheteshwar) Pujara, just to name a couple. But you still got the likes of (KL) Rahul and (Mayank) Agarwal, who have been exceptional as well, so there is (are) enough guys in that squad to fill Virat's shoes," he said.

"It is going to be a big challenge for us again and we will start our preparation really well and make sure we are prepared to take on India again on (the) Boxing Day, it is going to be another big challenge for us," added Lyon, who has 391 Test wickets to his credit.

Lyon also feels that Indian batsmen will try and attack him once again, a strategy that he is both familiar and comfortable with.

"...when you look at the quality of the quick bowlers that we have got here in Australian side, I think it's one of their tactics to come after me which is totally fine," he said.

"I am pretty used to having guys come after me...so it's all fun part of playing cricket and especially being a spin bowler," he added.

India recorded their lowest Test score of 36/9 in Adelaide but Lyon is confident that the visitors would come out all guns blazing in the second Test.

"I don't think it will be that difficult. You look at the quality of players in the Indian side and they have got some absolutely world-class players throughout the whole squad.

"It is one of the days where nothing went right for them and everything went right for us...We are expecting them to come out firing and not have any scars from the other day.

"...we can't go out there expecting we're going to bowl them out for 50 again."

The second Test of the four-match series, will be aired on Sony Ten 1, Sony Ten 3 and Sony Six channels, from December 26, from 4.30 am onwards.

I can't really compare myself to Ashwin: Lyon

Ace Australian spinner Nathan Lyon says he and India's R Ashwin are similar yet different type of bowlers, so comparisons should not be made between the two.

Lyon spoke highly of Ashwin, who he says stands out with his variations.

"Ashwin is a world-class bowler, to be honest. I have watched him a lot especially when I had gone to tour India and the subcontinent to try and learn of him. But he is a very cagey bowler, he has got all the variations," Lyon said at a virtual press conference ahead of the second Test beginning here on Saturday.

"He's very cagey with the way he changes his pace, so he is a very talented bowler. We are similar in a way but we are very different as well, so I can't really compare myself to him. I think his records speak for his own, so hats off to Ashwin," said the 33-year-old off-spinner.

Ashwin has been India's premier off-spinner, who has taken 370 wickets from 72 Tests.

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India tour of Australia, 2020/21IndiaAustraliaAustralia vs India - 2nd Test - Border-Gavaskar Trophy, 2020/21Nathan Michael LyonCheteshwar Arvind Pujara

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