World Test Championship final against India is our grand-finale ahead of Ashes 2023: Nathan Lyon

Written by Sumit Seth

Off-spinner Nathan Lyon believes Australia’s preparations for the World Test Championship final will be unaffected by the Ashes, referring to the upcoming match against India as a “grand final.”

The WTC final between India and Australia will begin on June 7 at The Oval. The five-Test Ashes series against England, which begins on June 16, has dominated headlines in recent months as Australia attempts to win the marque series away from home for the first time in 22 years.

“Yes, we are playing the Ashes but we’ve got a big game that we’re up for. This (WTC final) is our grand final, and then our season basically starts again,” Lyon was quoted as saying by Australian Associated Press.

“That’s probably where we’re quite happy with where we’re at with our planning. We are able to understand what we’ve got around the corner, and be OK. It’s exciting to be part of the final and the fanfare and stuff around it, it’s bloody special.

“I know every Australian fan is looking forward to the Ashes, and so they should be. But they should also be excited about this match,” he added.

Australia will enter the Ashes without any warm-up games, with the WTC final serving as the only match prior to the match against England.

Lyon believes the 1-2 loss in India earlier this year will have no bearing on the upcoming match. Australia and India recently competed in the Border-Gavaskar Trophy in the subcontinent, with the Men in Blue winning 2-1.

“You can wipe off anything that happened in India,” Lyon said.

“Both teams are really well-rounded in their squads. It is going to be a really good challenge.

The WTC final between India and Australia is set to begin on June 7 at The Oval in London. The traditional English conditions with the Duke’s ball will add to the excitement and unpredictability of the eagerly anticipated contest. Lyon praised both squads and expressed excitement, saying he was ready for a good Test challenge.

“India obviously have some class batters but they have some class fast bowlers as well. It’s going to be a good challenge. Both squads going at it and competing for one game, it’s going to be a really good challenge,” he said.

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Sumit Seth