Australian off-spinner Nathan Lyon feels the upcoming India series will test them physically and mentally and said they might need to play ugly to score runs in the four-Test series starting next month.
“Recent history tells us that over the past 10 years India has lost just four of 49 Tests at home – two to South Africa and two to England,” Lyon wrote in a column for Sydney Morning Herald.
“Touring there tests you physically and mentally. It puts every area of your skill and resilience under the microscope. To stand up and play well in India is to announce yourself as a world class team and that is what we want to do.
“We may have to play ugly to score runs and take wickets. Captain Steve Smith talked about adapting to the conditions,” added the 29-year-old.
The four-Test series begins on February 23 in Pune, followed by Bengaluru (March 4-8), Ranchi (March 16-20) and Dharamsala (March 25-29). India had blanked Australia 4-0 during their last tour in 2013.
Lyon, who has taken 228 wickets in 63 Tests, said adjusting to wickets in India will be crucial.
“The most important thing I found when I toured there four years ago was adjusting to the type of wickets we’ll be playing on,” he wrote.
“They’re going to be spin-friendly but India’s batsmen are probably the best players of spin in the world, so we’re going to have to be patient.
In India, Test matches tend to start slowly but they can speed up very quickly. It’s about hanging in there and trying to win the big moments throughout the day.”
Australia will have a young team but Lyon is confident that his new-look side will be able to achieve the results.
“Most of our new-look team have never played a Test in India. With all the recent changes only Steve Smith, David Warner, Matt Wade and myself are survivors from 2013. Seven of us remain from last year’s tour of Sri Lanka, which presented similar conditions,” he wrote.
“But there is an energy and a belief in this young group which we saw during the second half of the summer. The way they play their natural game gives me the confidence we can climb cricket’s biggest mountain.”