Aus vs Pak 2023-24 – Nathan Lyon primed for battle with ‘celebrity’ Babar Azam on Take a look at return

Nathan Lyon’s starvation for Take a look at cricket has by no means been higher as he prepares for his return after the Ashes-ending calf damage earlier this yr and he’s notably excited in regards to the problem of bowling in opposition to “celebrity” Babar Azam.

Lyon has put collectively three Sheffield Protect outings over the previous month after prolonged rehab from the primary main damage of his Take a look at profession and can resume in match quantity 101 in opposition to Pakistan as a crucial a part of Australia’s assault.

Optus Stadium in Perth, the venue for the opening Take a look at of the season, is a contented looking floor for Lyon the place he has taken 22 wickets in three matches however he’s anticipating a troublesome problem from Pakistan, and inparticular Babar who he charges extraordinarily extremely.
Babar, who lately resigned the Pakistan captaincy, averages 44.38 in 10 Assessments in opposition to Australia and made a powerful 196 in Karachi final yr to avoid wasting the match earlier than Lyon eliminated him at an important stage of the decider in Lahore. He was additionally one of many few positives from their final go to to Australia in 2019-2020 when he made scores of 97 and 101.

“Babar, firstly, has been a pleasure to play in opposition to however he is additionally been an enormous problem,” Lyon instructed ESPNcricinfo. “He is probably the greatest batters on the earth in my eyes, particularly in opposition to spin. He is a category participant. However assume he is a category participant in opposition to all varieties of bowling.

“They have some superstars within the aspect, and if I am speaking superstars he is the No. 1 within the Pakistan aspect in my eyes. He performed fairly nicely out right here final time so it is going to be an enormous problem for us for positive.”

Following his aborted Ashes sequence, Lyon will start the house summer time on 496 Take a look at wickets and given his document in Perth there may be each likelihood he can turn out to be the eighth bowler, and third Australia, to succeed in 5 hundred throughout the match.

“The starvation stage for enjoying Take a look at matches might be larger than ever, if I am being trustworthy,” he stated. “I am correct enthusiastic about it. Love taking part in in Perth at Optus Stadium. It’ll be a problem in opposition to Pakistan, so it is going to be an thrilling battle.”

Lyon took 4 wickets in his three Protect outings for New South Wales and didn’t have an enormous workload within the final match on the SCG which was pace-bowler dominated. However he has been placing in loads of spells within the nets, together with a three-hour stint with mentor John Davison, and could be very comfy together with his build-up.

“My rehab has been distinctive,” he stated. “I’ve had plenty of good individuals in my nook serving to me out, ensuring I used to be ticking each field and ensuring I used to be doing every little thing required. If I wasn’t coming off cricket I would been questioning it, however three Protect video games, a one-day recreation a grade recreation, and plenty of coaching, [leaves me] feeling actually pleased with method issues are.”

There’s yet another home outing in Lyon’s schedule earlier than flying to Perth, and will probably be a barely uncommon one as he fits up for his new BBL aspect Melbourne Renegades for a recreation in opposition to Sydney Sixers, who will function Steven Smith, on the SCG.

“It’ll be slightly bit completely different coming to the SCG and sitting within the away rooms. I’ve by no means really achieved that,” he stated. “However not going to lie, one eye’s on Take a look at cricket.”

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