‘He is the best player in the world:’ Nathan Lyon says Australia won’t let guard down in Virat Kohli’s absence

India will be without their regular captain Virat Kohli for three of the four Tests against Australia starting December 17 at the Adelaide Oval. Kohli will return after playing limited-overs series and the first Test – a day-night encounter between the two sides – and while it is a big blow not only for the Indian team, but also for the Border-Gavaskar Trophy, Australia off-spinner Nathan Lyon and the Australian team is not taking the foot off the pedal.

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“Look at Pujara, Rahane, and they have also got a couple of young guys coming in. It’s still going to be a massive challenge for us. Just because Virat’s not here doesn’t mean we get to hold the trophy up. We’ve still got a lot of work to do, a lot of homework to do,” Lyon was quoted as saying by Fox Sports.

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During India’s last visit Down Under, where they beat Australia 2-1 and registered their first Test series win in Australia in 71 years, it was Cheteshwar Pujara who emerged as Australia’s biggest roadblock. In four matches, Pujara amassed 521 runs including three centuries and was the highest run-scorer of the series. Kohli was next with 282 runs.

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Lyon called Kohli the best batsman in the world along with a couple of more Australia players and admitted he’d miss competing against the India captain. Lyon has dismissed Kohli seven times in Tests and is keen to make the most of the one crack he gets at the stat batsman.

“It’s disappointing for the series. You want to play against the best players in the world,” Lyon said. “I believe he is the best player in the world along with Steve Smith and Marnus Labuschagne. It’s disappointing but they have still got superstars.”

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