Melbourne, January 4
Australia off-spinner Nathan Lyon on Monday has said they are “100 per cent” sure of Brisbane hosting the fourth Test against India, playing down media reports that the tourists are reluctant to travel there in view of stricter quarantine rules.
The fourth Test is scheduled to be held in Brisbane from January 15 but Lyon added his team was currently focussed on the third match, which will be played in Sydney from January 7.
“100 per cent planning on going to Brisbane and sticking with plan A,” said Lyon at a virtual press conference.
“We have heard nothing as players, so we have got obviously travel up to Sydney today and get ripping there, and hopefully, get the result that we are after and then straight on playing in Brisbane,” he added.
Australia have got a good record at Brisbane while India are yet to win a Test at the Gabba.
“We all know how much we love playing cricket at the Gabba and we know our result there as well with our records. So, all plans to go to Gabba, that is for sure. According to Australian media reports, the Indians are not happy at the possibility of going for another quarantine in Brisbane, since they have already served one upon entering Australia,” Lyon said.
“To be honest, mate, I am not thinking about plan B or not playing at the GABBA. I, for 100 per cent, think we are going there and we are preparing for the Gabba,” he added.
Lyon is aware that many players in both the groups have been staying in a bubble for close to six months, but he called it a “small sacrifice” under the current circumstances.
“To be honest, regarding quarantine, I know there are few people from both squads, who have been in the bubble for close to six months now. But in my eyes, it is a very small sacrifice for us to get out there and play the game we love and put a lot of smiles on lot of people’s faces around the world,” added Lyon, who has played 98 Tests.
Lyon made it clear that the focus now is on the Sydney Test and he is not worried about what is being reported.
“I am not really worried about what’s being reported. It is for us to worry about what we can control and the information that we are receiving from the people at Cricket Australia and the medical people. It is just about us making sure that we are very well prepared for the Sydney Test. Everyone keeps talking about the Gabba Test but there is a massive Test match in just couple of days at the SCG and that is where our focus is 100 per cent at the moment,” Lyon said.
He backed the returning David Warner to open the innings for Australia in the third Test this week, saying he had the “X-factor” to change a game.
The explosive opener missed the first two Tests with a groin injury but has been training and was included in the squad for Thursday’s clash in Sydney, with the four-Test series locked at 1-1.
“One hundred percent. I think David is an X-factor,” Lyon said.
“He is a world-class batter, we all know that, so I am 100 percent expecting David to go out there in the next couple of Test matches and do well. Obviously, he’s got all of the support of the Australian changing room and everyone else around the world to come in here and do well. So I’m looking forward to getting Davey back up to the top order for Australia,” he added. PTI