The upcoming clash between Australia and India will also be the clash of two of the best spinners in the world in Ravichandran Ashwin and Nathan Lyon. Both bowlers, who made their Test debuts in 2011, have achieved tremendous success for their sides in the last couple of years. Lyon has produced memorable spells against India, including his 12-wicket haul in Adelaide in 2014/15 which helped Australia to a memorable 48-run win. Speaking after the end of the third day between Cricket Australia XI and India, Ashwin admitted he admires Lyon’s ability and can learn a thing or two in the upcoming four-Test series beginning on December 6 in Adelaide.
“I also watch his videos. We started our Test careers at the same time so obviously mutual admiration is there. He has done well over the last couple years and he is bowling well. The ball is coming out well off his hand. What can I learn? Probably drop the ball at the right spots and probably as the series goes on look forward to a good competition,” Ashwin said.
Australia has been plagued by off-field issues ever since the ball-tampering scandal in Cape Town. With no Steve Smith and David Warner in the side, the batting is weak and results have not gone their way. India have a chance to break their jinx Down Under but Ashwin brushes off the favorites tag for Virat Kohli’s side.
“The whole talk about India starting favourites, even when Australia came to India they were talking us up, and it looks like more of a strategy for us. I personally think you have to go one day at a time. It's never easy to come over to Australia and win series. In the Ashes they almost whitewashed England, knocked them over, and so as far as I'm concerned they are starting favourites,” Ashwin said.
Prepared for long haul
The offspinner has said the nature of wickets in Australia is pretty flat and it won’t be easy to run through the opposition. The nature of pitches in England and South Africa helped the bowlers a lot but Ashwin admits India have to maintain the intensity every hour and on an everyday basis in order to achieve success.
“You don't turn up to Australia thinking wickets are going to seam or spin around. They are always going to be flat we know that. It's more about getting your noses ahead in Australia. Every hour, the game can get away from you really fast in the field. We have some quality batsmen who can take the game away from them. It's very important to soak together good partnerships as a bowling group then try and knock them over. You won't blow oppositions away. It might happen once in a while but you have to get your noses ahead and keep it ahead,” Ashwin stated.
The Tamil Nadu bowler was happy with his performance with the ball in the warm-up game against Cricket Australia XI as the hosts ended the third day on 356/6, trailing Virat Kohli’s side by two runs.