WTC final against India is our grand final: Lyon

Melbourne:¬†Off-spinner Nathan Lyon doesn’t believe Australia’s preparations for the World Test Championship final will be affected by the talk around the Ashes, terming the upcoming contest against India as “grand final”.

India and Australia will square off in the WTC final at The Oval from June 7.

The five-Test Ashes against England beginning June 16 has dominated the headlines over the past few months as Australia seek 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 head into the Ashes without any warm-up game with the WTC final being the lone match before the contest against England.

Lyon believes the 1-2 loss Test series in India earlier this year won’t have any bearing on the upcoming contest.

“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.

“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.

“It’s a fresh start. I’m looking forward to it.”