Australia have the Ashes waiting for them after the “grand” World Test Championship (WTC) final against India, but off-spinner Nathan Lyon doesn’t agree that the hype around the former would affect their preparation for the one-off Test at The Oval next week.
“Yes, we are playing the Ashes but we’ve got a big game that we’re up for. This (WTC final) is our grand final, and then our season basically starts again,” Lyon was quoted as saying by Australian Associated Press.
“That’s probably why we’re quite happy with where we’re at with our planning. We are able to understand what we’ve got around the corner, and be OK. It’s exciting to be part of the final and the fanfare and stuff around it, it’s bloody special.
The five-Test Ashes against England begins on June 17.
Lyon also believes that the loss in the Test series in India earlier this year won’t have any bearing on the WTC contest. “You can wipe off anything that happened in India,” Lyon said. “It’s a fresh start. I’m looking forward to it.”
The Ashwin puzzle
While Lyon’s confidence is high, Australia are unsure about India’s plans about their playing XI. They expect Ravindra Jadeja to play, but don’t know whether Ravichandran Ashwin will feature in the XI.
“We have been debating that (India’s bowling attack),” Australia assistant coach Daniel Vettori said. “I think Jadeja will play because of the batting he brings to the table... Then the question will be around that fourth seamer and the all-rounder in (Shardul) Thakur and Ashwin, but both pretty good choices.”
Written with inputs from PTI