Lyon has put together three Sheffield Shield outings over the past month after lengthy rehab from the first major injury of his Test career and will resume in match number 101 against Pakistan as a critical part of Australia’s attack.
“Babar, firstly, has been a pleasure to play against but he’s also been a massive challenge,” Lyon told ESPNcricinfo. “He’s one of the best batters in the world in my eyes, especially against spin. He’s a class player. But think he’s a class player against all types of bowling.
“They’ve got some superstars in the side, and if I’m talking superstars he’s the No. 1 in the Pakistan side in my eyes. He played reasonably well out here last time so it’s going to be a big challenge for us for sure.”
“The hunger level for playing Test matches is probably higher than ever, if I’m being honest,” he said. “I’m proper excited about it. Love playing in Perth at Optus Stadium. It’s going to be a challenge against Pakistan, so it’s going to be an exciting battle.”
Lyon took four wickets in his three Shield outings for New South Wales and did not have a massive workload in the last match at the SCG which was pace-bowler dominate. But he has been putting in plenty of spells in the nets, including a three-hour stint with mentor John Davison, and is very comfortable with his build-up.
“My rehab has been exceptional,” he said. “I’ve had a lot of good people in my corner helping me out, making sure I was ticking every box and making sure I was doing everything required. If I wasn’t coming off cricket I’d been questioning it, but three Shield games, a one-day game a grade game, and a lot of training, [leaves me] feeling really happy with way things are.”
There is one more domestic outing in Lyon’s schedule before flying to Perth, and it will be a slightly unusual one as he suits up for his new BBL side Melbourne Renegades for a game against Sydney Sixers, who will feature Steven Smith, at the SCG.
“It’s going to be a little bit different coming to the SCG and sitting in the away rooms. I’ve never actually done that,” he said. “But not going to lie, one eye’s on Test cricket.”
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