Australian spinner Nathan Lyon feels the World Test Championship (WTC) final is as important as the Ashes in the red-ball season. The Pat Cummins-led side are scheduled to face India and England for a shot at two of the most prestigious prizes in Test cricket.
Australia will not be playing any warm-up matches in the lead-up to the crucial matches. Several players were part of the recently concluded 2023 Indian Premier League (IPL) while a handful played in the County Championship.
The Men in Yellow narrowly missed out on the final of the first WTC final and they last won a series in England back in 2001.
Nathan Lyon noted that both upcoming assignments are of equal importance.
"Yes, we are playing the Ashes but we've got a big game that we're up for. This is our grand final, and then our season basically starts again.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," he told AAP.
Lyon also stated that both teams will come into the WTC final with a clean slate.
"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. You can wipe off anything that happened in India," he added.
As far as The Ashes is concerned, Australia are the current holders of the urn after a 4-0 win in the 2021-22 series Down Under. Their last visit to England ended in a 2-2 draw.
"Both teams are really well rounded in their squads" - Nathan Lyon expects the WTC Final to be a solid challenge
India and Australia are scheduled to play the WTC final from June 7 onwards at The Oval in London. The traditional English conditions with the Duke's ball will add more thrill and unpredictability to the highly-anticipated contest.
Lyon praised both squads and stated that he is looking forward to a good challenge.
"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. It's a fresh start. I'm looking forward to it," Lyon concluded.
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