Australia will have plans chalked out for the returning Rohit Sharma, seasoned off-spinner Nathan Lyon said on Monday, describing the swashbuckling India opener as some of the best players in world cricket. Having missed the limited overs leg of the tour and the Tests in Adelaide and Melbourne because of an injury, Rohit has joined an upbeat Indian team for the final two matches and Lyon is aware of the threat the batsman can pose with his wide range of strokes. “Obviously, Rohit Sharma is among the best players on this planet going around, so it’s going to be a big challenge for us bowlers, but we’re going to show our way from it, we love challenging ourself,” Lyon said at a virtual press convention.
“He (Rohit) is a huge input for Indian side, so it’s going to be interesting to see who they leave out.
“But we can have our plans able for Rohit, and expectantly, we will be able to get on top of him nice and early, but respecting how good a cricketer Rohit is,” added Lyon, who is on the verge of playing his 100th Test.
Rohit has been named India’s vice-captain for the remaining two Tests after he missed the first two as he was once recovering from an injury sustained all over the IPL.
Lyon said one of India skipper Ajinkya Rahane’s strengths is that he does not indulge in sledging or conversations with the opposition bowlers while he’s in the middle.
“He (Rahane) is obviously a world-class batter, which obviously helps with everything. I think the patience that he shows at the crease, he doesn’t seem to receive (frustrated) much,” Lyon said.
“He (Rahane) doesn’t buy into any sledging or any conservation available in the market in the middle, he’s pretty calm and collective batter (of the) opposition, so it is few different things that he offers.
“… But he’s obviously leader of India at the present time as Virat (Kohli) isn’t here, so he’s standing up at the present time and I realize we can have our plans able to expectantly combat him come the SCG Test,” he added.
Lyon also had words of compliment for his Indian counterpart Ravichandran Ashwin and said the India off-spinner has bowled moderately straighter to the Australian batsman and they had no answer to that.
“Yeah, Ashwin is bowling very polite. He’s a world-class spinner and I have said that during my whole career. He has bowled moderately a straight line to our batters, which they haven’t had get a hold of a plan as yet,” Lyon said.
“I think they’ll get a hold of one of them and counter Ashwin’s plan in Sydney,” Lyon, who has 394 wickets from 94 Tests, added.
“But he (Ashwin) is a world-class bowler and what you are expecting, he has got a decent record around the globe, so hats off to him.”
Lyon also stated that he has devised “a few different plans” for Rahane, who hit a dogged match-winning 112 in the Melbourne Test.
“I think (Ajinkya) Rahane played me extremely polite in Melbourne, so I realize I’m going to get a hold of a few different plans for him and a couple of different guys, so I am having a look forward to putting them in place,” Lyon said.
“But, to be sincere with you, we have been pretty accurate with our bowling, as a squad to take 20 wickets moderately quickly in Adelaide but then challenged little bit in Melbourne.
“But to stay there and retain creating chances, that was once a positive. So, we are very self-assured as a bowling group and I realize personally I have got a couple of different plans to put in place.”
According to the 33-year-old Lyon, Indian batters have at all times tried to be attacking against him. “I think they (Indian batsmen) have played me pretty similar. Each series I come up against India, they you ought to be moderately attacking,” he said.
Currently, the series is tied at 1-1 with Australia winning the Pink-Ball opener in Adelaide and India emerging triumphant in Melbourne. The third Test will be played in Sydney from January 7.
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