With the threat of coronavirus looming large, cricket in front of empty stands has been a thought that has crossed almost everyone’s minds. Australia’s Nathan Lyon wasn’t an exception as he wondered how India’s Virat Kohli would adapt to the lack of an atmosphere if their Test series is held this year.
India are set to play a four-match Test series in Australia later this year, but in all likelihood, they might take place behind closed doors. But Lyon believes that even if that were to happen, Kohli, who thrives on the backing and noise of the crowd, would be undeterred.
“He’s probably good enough to adapt to any scenario. But I was 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 [empty] seats,” Lyon was quoted as saying by cricket.com.au.
“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,” Lyon added.
Even with the sports calendars ripped to shreds worldwide, with football, basketball, motorsport all at a halt, the 32-year-old off-spinner is excited by the prospect of the series against India.
“I’m excited about the prospect of India coming out to Australia, it’s up there with the biggest series alongside the Ashes. They’re an absolute powerhouse of the cricket world, and to have those guys out here is going to be fantastic,” he said.
“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,” he said.
Australia lost a first home series to India in 2018-19 when Kohli’smen handed them a 2-1 defeat. However, with the return of Steve Smith and David Warner, and the rise of Marnus Labuschagne, Lyon is hopeful.
“They had the wood over us last time they came over here but we’re a much stronger Australian cricket side at the moment, and I’m just unbelievably excited about playing them here at home.”
Lyon also went on to say that Australia’s Tim Paine has been “absolutely incredible” since taking over as Test captain during turbulent times involving the ball-tampering scandal in 2018.
“Tim Paine has been absolutely incredible for the Australian cricket team. The way he’s gone out and led this team, it’s been unbelievable to be honest. I truly believe that he’s growing each and every day, he seems to be getting better as captain.”
“He took the captaincy on in the hardest time in Australian cricket and he’s done an amazing job.”
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