Lyon bullish Aussies can shine this summer
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.