Nathan Lyon says Australia have best bowling attack in the world ahead of Test series with India

Nathan Lyon has claimed Australia have the “best bowling attack in the world” ahead of the Test series against India.

The first of four Tests starts in Adelaide this week with both teams fighting to earn a place in the inaugural World Test Championship final at Lord’s in 2021.

A change in the points system due to the disruption caused by the coronavirus pandemic has seen Australia leapfrog India to top the standings and a lapse from either side in the coming months could allow New Zealand or England to snatch a top-two berth.

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Australia will be without David Warner and young opener Will Pucovski while the day-night Test in South Australia is the only match of the series that India will be able to count on their talismanic skipper Virat Kohli, before he returns home for the birth of his first child.

The tourists will also be without injured fast bowler Ishant Sharma for the series, although they still boast Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami and Umesh Yadav in a potent seam attack, as well as having a choice between Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja and Kuldeep Yadav in the spin department.

However, Lyon thinks it is Australia who possess the leading attack in world cricket with the off-spinner a key part of a bowling unit that also includes pacemen Pat Cummins, Josh Hazlewood and Mitchell Starc.

“I’ve always enjoyed playing against India,” the 33-year-old said. “Obviously, they are some of the best players in the world, especially playing spin, so it’s always a big challenge. I’ve always said I want to challenge myself against the best players of especially spin bowling.

“So for me, this series is about doing my role within the Australian cricket team. We’ve got a very good bowling team here.

“In my eyes, we’ve got the best bowling attack in the world. So we’re just going to have to make sure we’re doing our stuff and challenging the Indians defence for long periods of time.”

Lyon is also closing in on a personal milestone, needing only 10 more wickets for 400 in Test cricket. It is a case of when not if the New South Wales native gets there and in doing so he will become just the second Australian spinner, Shane Warne being the first, to reach the landmark.

“It’s not about personal success for me,” Lyon said. “I’ve had a bit of success against India, but it’s more about playing our role in making sure that we’re going out there and looking to take 20 wickets each Test match.

“With the 400 wickets, it’s pretty amazing to think where I started from to where I am at the present. But that’s pretty, pretty exciting. So hopefully I’ll be able to hopefully create a few chances and get closer to that 400.”

There was some debate as to whether Starc would be available for the pink-ball Test, with James Pattinson and Michael Neser waiting in the wings, after joining the squad late after compassionate leave but Lyon says the left-arm quick is “more than comfortable” and ready to play.

Sean Abbott had been among the options to replace Starc if required but the seamer has been ruled out of the first Test due to a calf injury. Moises Henriques replaces him in the squad.

Meanwhile, the hosts are also waiting to discover whether all-rounder Cameron Green will be eligible to play after he was struck on the head while bowling for Australia A in a warm-up game against India in Sydney last week.

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