A sympathetic Nathan Lyon was not too worried about the Australian batsmen’s abject surrender in the third Test against India in Melbourne, saying “success for them is around the corner”.
The hosts were struggling at 258/8 in a chase of 399 and are two wickets away from conceding a 2-1 series lead to Virat Kohli and Co. Pat Cummins is the only Australian showing some resistance, with an overnight score of 61 from 103.
“I see how much hard work the guys are doing in the nets and in training. We know they are working hard and not going out to fail. They have all my support,” Lyon said at the end of fourth day’s play on Saturday.
“We are up against a world-class bowling attack, one of the best Indian attacks I have ever seen. They are disappointed but I know how hard they are working. Success for them is around the corner,” he added.
The off-spinner, who was unbeaten on 6 off 38 overnight with Pat Cummins, insisted that last two wickets will show a lot of fight on Sunday and will not go down easy to hand India victory. Pat and I are going to come out tomorrow and we are going to fight. We have to show a lot of pride and fight hard, and show what it means to wear the Baggy Green cap.
“We are going to win first ball in first over, and show a lot of fight and pride in playing for Australia. And we will enjoy doing that,” he said.
In reply to India’s first innings total of 443/7 declared, the hosts were bowled out for 151 in the first innings.
“I am a massive fan of Aaron Finch. He is working hard and seeing a lot of balls in nets. We have seen him in international cricket in all three formats as a world-class batsman. He is disappointed as anyone else is,” he added, backing the under-fire opener after yet another failure.
The Australian batting failed for a second time in this Test, after getting bowled out poorly in the first innings. They were reduced to 176/6 before Cummins saved the day for them and took matters into the fifth day.
“Pat Cummins has been exceptional in this match and he keeps getting better every day. I enjoy batting with pat helps calm down my nerves and it was an exciting challenge. It was a pretty special knock from him. He is a great bloke but even better cricketer. Seeing where he started from and seeing where he is now, he has a hell of a long career ahead of him,” said Lyon.
“First innings’ runs are counted in whichever Test match you play. Basically you are ahead of that game if you have runs on board. Unfortunately we missed that and now we are up against it,” he added.
Lyon had special praise for Jasprit Bumrah who has picked eight wickets in the match and has been India’s stand-out bowler.
“Bumrah is quick and has a very good slower one. He is world class and has all skills a very good all-round package. Not surprised that he is a top bowler in Test cricket so quickly because I have seen him in white ball cricket. So he is obviously a top class bowler,” he said.