Australia tour of Pakistan: Spinner Nathan Lyon said it’s a proud moment for Pat Cummins-led side to be the first Australian team to travel to Pakistan in more than 2 decades. Australia will play 3 Tests from March 4.

Nathan Lyon will be key to Australia’s chances in the upcoming 3-Test series in Pakisttan (AFP Photo)

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Australia are all set to play 3 Tests in Pakistan from March 4
  • Nathan Lyon said he is looking forward to the the ‘tough challenge’
  • The first Test will be played in Rawalpindi from Friday

Australia spinner Nathan Lyon maintained that his mindset is to win every game he plays for Australia and nothing will change as they take on Pakistan in a historic 3-Test in the Asian nation. Pat Cummins-led side is the first Australian team in 24 years to tout Pakistan.

The two teams, who have been training in Rawalpindi, will play the first Test at the Pindi Cricket Stadium from March 4. The 2nd Test will be played in Karachi and the 3rd in Lahore before the two teams will play 3 ODIs and a lone-T20i.

Australia completed a 4-0 Ashes series victory over England earlier this year and while they face vastly different conditions in Pakistan Lyon said the goal was to win every match.

“My mindset is every game we go into, we will look to win, not draw or lose. My mindset is to win 3-0 in Pakistan,” Lyon said.

Major teams have shunned Pakistan since an attack on the Sri Lanka team bus in Lahore in 2009 that killed six policemen and two civilians but international sides have recently started touring the country again. Australia’s tour comes at an important juncture for Pakistan as England and New Zealand pulled out from their proposed tours last year, citing security concerns.

There has been a death threat to spinner Ashton Agar on social media but both captain Cummins and vice-captain Steve Smith have played down security concerns, saying they are being well taken care of by the Pakistan Cricket Board.

“Pakistan haven’t had the opportunity to have a lot of international cricket here over a number of years so to be able to be the first Australian team to come here to play … It’s a pretty proud moment,” Lyon said.

“We’ve spoken as a group about how big it is for the people of Pakistan to see the likes of Steve Smith, David Warner, Pat Cummins and Marnus Labuschagne … these guys are proud to come out here and play to be role models.”

IT’S GOING TO BE CHALLENGING: LYON

Lyon said the wickets looked similar to those in the United Arab Emirates and he expected a good batting track early in the opening match before spin and reverse swing later.

“My role is going to change across the Test matches. There’s going to be times where I’ll be in a holding role … where there is opportunity for me to be more attacking I will,” Lyon said.

“All bowlers in our squad are well prepared to play whatever role it takes to perform well. It’s going to be challenging but we’ve got the squad to cover all areas.”



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