Building up to the all-important 2-match Test series against Pakistan in United Arab Emirates, premier off-spinner Nathan Lyon has said that he is looking forward to what is going to be a really tough challenge and feels he is better equipped than he was four years back to bowl in those conditions.
Lyon, who picked up 8 wickets in the first innings of the ongoing practice game against Pakistan A, is going through the last bit of his planning and preparations very well and thinks he can make an impact for Australia.
Lyon was quoted saying, "Very good hit out for the boys. Obviously conducive conditions to have a first day hit out. Pretty happy with the way all bowlers bowled, especially the way the quicks bowled stump to stump - it's what we spoke about. I thought Jon Holland worked really well into his spell and I was happy to bowl in partnerships with those guys,"
Further on the performance and tactics discussed for the tour, Lyon added, "Good conversations, open conversations which are handy. We really tried to nail down the basics, doing the basics really well and just trying to keep it simple, to be honest. A lot of guys can come over here and complicate things in the subcontinent." before he stressed, "From my past experiences, that's one big message - doing the basics really well, enjoy the challenge and just embrace it. But it's going to come down to bowling well in partnerships throughout this Test series."
Even though happy with his returns so far from the warm-up game, Lyon wasn't quite expecting the surface to turn so sharply on Day 1 itself. This is where his theory of not hesitating in bowling ugly should help if the pitches in Tests are similar.
"I didn't expect it to spin that much, but Day 1, it was ragging. It was good fun to bowl. Taking five wickets obviously helps but I think I've really worked hard for the past 24 months or a little bit more than that, really on my subcontinent game." Lyon said and added, "I've looked at a lot of footage of Ashwin and all those guys, how they bowl over here and I've had to reassess with the way I approach. I'm happy with where I am at the moment, I'm feeling very confident, the ball is coming out of my hand really nice."
Lyon also made it clear, Australia are more focussed and confident about their skill and performance rather than worrying about what the opponent might dish them out.
"They can ploy whatever they want to ploy. But we're working hard, we're preparing well. It's about playing decent cricket here and get into a really good momentum for the first Test." he said, "Whatever they throw at us, we'll make sure that we're working hard on our games and just controlling what we can control. Not really worried about what they're doing. If we can do what we do best and prepare in the best possible way we can for the first Test, then we're in good shape." and signed off.
The first Test in Dubai starts October 7.
(Inputs from Cricbuzz)