Did “clashing ideologies,” as was being said until Ricky Ponting and Usman Khwaja spoke up and hit a discordant note, really “script an epic Ashes” series? Was it, as the Australian duo suggested, a bit of jiggery-pokery which may have sensationally fashioned the result of the Oval Test or was it the eternal “sour grapes” story playing out again?
Australia off-spinner Nathan Lyon has compared the series between Australia and India to the Ashes and said that it was one of the most high-profile rivalries in cricket. Lyon further said that the Australian team were eagerly waiting for India’s return to Down Under later this year.
“You definitely don’t like losing games or series while playing for Australia. Obviously, India, a couple of years ago, they outplayed us so we are looking to have those guys come out here,” Lyon told reporters in a video uploaded on cricket.com.au Facebook page.
“It’s getting up there to the pinnacle series alongside Ashes. Obviously, they have got a side full of superstars and it’s going to be an amazing challenge this summer when they get out here.”
Team India are set to tour Australia for a four-match Test series later this year. The matches are scheduled to be played at Brisbane Gabba, Adelaide Oval, Melbourne Cricket Ground and the Sydney Cricket Ground.
Gabba would host the opening match from December 3. While the second match in Adelaide from December 11 will be India’s first away Day-Night Test, the ones in Melbourne and Sydney will be the traditional Boxing Day and New Year Tests respectively.
Meanwhile, the Australian skipper on Tuesday said that the Boxing Day Test can be moved out of its traditional venue – the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) – due to a sudden spike in the positive cases of COVID-19 in Victoria’s capital city.
“Certainly, from a player’s point of view, we want to be playing in front of big crowds at the best venues and a big day like Boxing Day is something that everyone looks forward to and a big part of that is playing at the MCG,” Paine said in a video message posted on CA website.
“Fingers crossed things are going well enough that we can do that but, as I said, we are spoilt for choice here in Australia with some world-class stadiums. If something had to change, then, again, we have plenty of options.”