Sydney: Australian off-spinner Nathan Lyon feels that while the country’s cricket team has ample depth, the real test will come when the side plays overseas tours, especially in the sub-continent.
Lyon became the first off-spinner from outside Asia and the 17th bowler overall to 400 Test wickets during the recently concluded five-Test Ashes series, which the hosts won 4-0.
In spite of their superb performance against the Joe Root-led England, questions are being raised on whether Australia can emulate the stellar shows on foreign tours, given that they haven’t played an overseas Test series since the 2019 Ashes in England due to Covid-19.
Australia have won 10, lost two and drawn two Tests at home since then and have regained the top spot in the ICC Test rankings, but Lyon isn’t yet convinced about the hype surrounding his team. His side’s first big overseas challenge will come in the form of the three-Test tour of Pakistan in March, and Lyon wants his team to challenge themselves in a different environment.
“I think the depth of Australian cricket is really strong at the moment,” Lyon said on SEN 1170 Drive on Monday. “But the big challenge for us moving forward is actually performing outside of Australia. We all know how hard it is to win Tests overseas. We’ve got some big challenges ahead. Let’s judge ourselves on our performances overseas.”
It will also be a different kind of Test experience for pace bowler Pat Cummins, who will be leading the Australian side for the first time on an overseas tour in his career. Cummins had captained Australia in the five-Test Ashes, and Lyon feels the impact he’s had while in-charge has been noticeable.
“It [Cummins’ captaincy] has been really good to be honest with you. Obviously being a bowler — and it helps when it’s one of your best mates as captain as well — you’ve always going to support him and you’ve always got the confidence in him to do an amazing job.
“But I think Patty (Cummins) has been absolutely brilliant, he’s been a big driver in being really calm and relentless. I think that’s really allowed a lot of us players to go out there and play the brand of cricket that they want to play and go out there and perform and put on a show for everyone. I think that’s been a big driver and hats off to Patty, to be honest.”
Australia begin their series against Pakistan with the first Test in Karachi from March 3.