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Lyon: Australia’s world’s best attack has plans for India

December 14, 2020 GMT
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India's captain Virat Kohli, right, fist bumps with Australia's captain Aaron Finch as they walk past the winners trophy at the end of the third T20 international cricket match between Australia and India at the Sydney Cricket Ground in Sydney, Australia, Tuesday, Dec. 8, 2020. Indian won the series 2-1. (AP Photo/Rick Rycroft)
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India's captain Virat Kohli, right, fist bumps with Australia's captain Aaron Finch as they walk past the winners trophy at the end of the third T20 international cricket match between Australia and India at the Sydney Cricket Ground in Sydney, Australia, Tuesday, Dec. 8, 2020. Indian won the series 2-1. (AP Photo/Rick Rycroft)

ADELAIDE, Australia (AP) — Nathan Lyon believes the Australian bowling attack is older, wiser and better than it was two years ago when India won a test series Down Under for the first time.

In fact, he thinks there’s none better going into a four-test series rematch starting this week with a day-night match in Adelaide.

“In my eyes, we’ve got the best bowling attack in the world,” the veteran Australian off-spinner said Monday. “We know what happened last series against India out here and how well they played.

“As bowlers, we’ve already spoken about that and we’ve come up with a few different plans ... We’re in such a better place compared with two years ago.”

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Australian cricket was in toil in 2018 when Virat Kohli’s India team toured. Former captain Steve Smith, vice-captain David Warner and opener Cameron Bancroft were all serving long suspensions for their parts in a ball-tampering scandal in South Africa, and India took full advantage of an inexperienced Australian top order.

An Australian bowling unit featuring Pat Cummins, Josh Hazlewood, Mitch Starc and Lyon — likely to be the starting attack in Adelaide this week — wasn’t able to contain India’s seasoned batting.

Kohli will lead his team in the series-opener, the first day-night test between the teams, but then return to India to be with his wife, who is expecting the couple’s first child in January.

Kohli and Cheteshwar Pujara, who scored three centuries and a half century in his previous test tour to Australia, missed the pink-ball day-night tour match last weekend against an Australian A team that ended in a draw. Experienced top-order batsman Rohit Sharma missed the entire limited-overs series but is set to rejoin the India squad after completing 14-day quarantine in Sydney.

Lyon reckons it’s time for Australian to put some pressure on the Indian batting.

“We’ve done a bit of homework,” he said. “I’m not going to reveal all my plans and our bowling plans in the media for India to read about, but we’ve got a few things lined up.”

For Australia, Warner will be missing in Adelaide — this time because of injury — and there’s no certainty over who will open after up-and-coming opener Will Pucovski was ruled out after sustaining a mild concussion in a tour match against India A and incumbent test opener Joe Burns has struggled for runs.

Allrounder Cameron Green was also injured in the tour match, and Australia selectors recalled Moises Henriques to the squad as injury cover on Monday.

The 33-year-old’s Henriques played in five of the six short-form games against India and could force his way into a reworked middle order.

Honors were split on the white-ball portion of the tour, with Australia winning the three-match one-day international series and India winning the three-match Twenty20 international series.

The two three-day tour games were drawn.

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