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Kohli a 'superstar', Pujara the 'new wall': Nathan Lyon calls Team India an 'absolute powerhouse'

According to Lyon, Australia need to reassess their approach to Pujara next time around.

India TV Sports Desk India TV Sports Desk
New Delhi Published on: April 14, 2020 14:01 IST
Kohli a 'superstar', Pujara the 'new wall' : Nathan Lyon calls Team India an 'absolute powerhouse'
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Kohli a 'superstar', Pujara the 'new wall': Nathan Lyon calls Team India an 'absolute powerhouse'

Veteran Australian off-spinner Nathan Lyon piled up praises on Indian skipper Virat Kohli and Test specialist Cheteshwar Pujara. Team  India is scheduled to play a four-match Test series against Australia at the end of 2020. 

Lyon, who has been the backbone of Australian Test bowling department for the past few years, claimed that Kohli is a superstar and can adapt to any situation.

The 32-year-old has revealed that Australia's bowling unit has been discussing what it would be like for Kohli to play without crowds if the Test series goes as per schedule amid the coronavirus pandemic across the globe.

"He's probably good enough to adapt to any scenario," Lyon was quoted as saying by ESPNcricinfo.

"But it's funny you say that. I was actually talking to Mitch Starc the other day and we actually said that if we are playing with no crowd, it'll be quite amazing to see Virat trying to rev up the seats. It's going to be a little bit different. But Virat is a superstar. He'll be able to adapt to any climate that we're able to play in," he added.

Lyon is very excited about the prospect of India coming out to Australia as he rated the Border-Gavaskar series right up there with the biggest series alongside the Ashes.

In 2018-19, Team India under Kohli's leadership registered it's first-ever Test series win in Australia. It was the first time since 1947, that India were able to register a Test series victory in Down Under as they defeated the Tim Paine-led side 2-1 in the four-match rubber.

In the last series, Australia were without David Warner and Steve Smith in their squad as they were serving their ball-tampering ban. Lyon said that with Warner and Smith back in the team, Australia are a much stronger side than the last time.

"They're (India) an absolute powerhouse of the cricket world. Playing in front of crowds or no crowds is out of our control.

"We've got to follow the advice of all the amazing medical people around the world. I haven't thought about no crowds or massive crowds - it's just about the opportunity of playing against India again. They had the wood over us last time they came over here but we're a much stronger side at the moment," he said 

In the 2018-19 series, Pujara was one of the main architects of India's famous win. He scored three centuries and was the leading run-getter in the four-match rubber.

According to Lyon, Australia need to reassess their approach to Pujara next time around.

"I think Pujara flies under the radar a little bit when you look at the Indian side," Lyon said.

"Obviously you look at Rahane and Virat and these guys. But Pujara is a wall. He's the new wall I should say. It helps that he played exceptionally well last time out here. He adapted his game. He had a bit of luck which is what you need when you're playing at the top level.

"He obviously played his absolute backside off, which for India was good to see but we're going to have to make sure that come this summer we have to come with some new plans to combat Pujara. As I said, he flies under the radar a little bit - he definitely won't be flying under the radar come this summer," he added.

Recently, Australia head coach Justin Langer had said that the home Test series loss to India was the defining moment of his coaching career as it provided him with a much-needed wake-up call.

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