Lyon bullish Aussies can shine this sum­mer

Geelong Advertiser - - SPORT - ROB FOR­SAITH

NATHAN Lyon is fore­cast­ing a sum­mer to re­mem­ber, sug­gest­ing Aus­tralia will sur­prise fans.

Aus­tralian cricket’s past seven months have been full of on-field and off-field woes, with the Cape Town cheat­ing scan­dal trig­ger­ing a se­ries of crises.

At this point last year, Steve Smith was ready­ing him­self to pro­duce a moun­tain of runs as Ashes fever swept the na­tion be­fore the most-at­tended se­ries in Aus­tralia since 1936-37.

Now, neg­a­tiv­ity abounds as Smith serves a year-long ban.

The over­rid­ing sense is world No.1 In­dia, which ar­rives soon for a four-Test se­ries that starts on December 6, will never have a bet­ter chance to record its maiden Test se­ries win in Aus­tralia.

“The sum­mer will be a hell of a lot dif­fer­ent to what ev­ery­one is think­ing,” Lyon said.

“As soon as we get back to play­ing a good brand of cricket . . . the results will come.

“There’s some ex­cit­ing young bats­men . . . we’ve got enough world-class crick­eters in Aus­tralia to get the job done.

“To make this sum­mer one hell of a sum­mer. A sum­mer to re­mem­ber.

“I’m very con­fi­dent go­ing into this sum­mer.”

Lyon, still in the mix to be part of Aus­tralia’s World Cup squad next year, was dumped from the ODI squad this month and asked to fo­cus on his red-ball bowl­ing.

Aus­tralia’s most pro­lific Test off­spin­ner was also left out of the Twenty20 squad that will face South Africa and In­dia, as were Mitchell Starc, Josh Ha­zle­wood and Pat Cum­mins.

It means the Test at­tack will play to­gether for NSW in the Sh­effield Shield this month as they pre­pare to take on Vi­rat Kohli’s star-stud­ded team.

“Of course I want to play every game for Aus­tralia . . . but I can un­der­stand the mind­set of se­lec­tors and ‘JL’ (coach Justin Langer),” Lyon said. “It’s re­ally good prep for a mas­sive Test se­ries.

“I know the quicks are look­ing for­ward to get­ting back and hav­ing one or two Shield games be­fore the first Test.

“There’s a lot of one-day cricket be­fore the World Cup so you’ll get an op­por­tu­nity to per­form in those games if you get picked.”

Lyon, play­ing his first Shield game of the sea­son on a slow SCG pitch, went wicket-less for 40 overs for NSW against Tas­ma­nia in the first in­nings this week then grabbed 4-30 in the sec­ond in­nings.

His scalps in­cluded Test skip­per Tim Paine, who was bam­boo­zled by a de­liv­ery that found a gap be­tween bat and pad.

Nathan Lyon bowl­ing for NSW this week.

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