Babar Azam is world class; Azhar Ali is absolutely exceptional: Nathan Lyon

Babar Azam is world class; Azhar Ali is absolutely exceptional: Nathan Lyon

Nathan Lyon doesn't want Australia to take Pakistan lightly.

Nathan Lyon
Nathan Lyon. (Photo by Matt King/Getty Images)

Australia will definitely start as firm favorites when they take on Pakistan in the upcoming T20I and Test series. Australia will host the Asian country for three T20Is and a couple of Tests with the tour getting underway next month. The way both the teams have performed, it would be a no-brainer to state that Australia will have the upper hand in the proceedings.

Not only the conditions, but the form is also on Australia’s side. The team from Down Under has done really well this year. They registered a remarkable ODI series win in India before whitewashing Pakistan in a five-match ODI series in UAE. In the World Cup, they made it to the semifinal before drawing the Ashes series to retain the urn.

Pakistan, on the other hand, have been really inconsistent this year. 2019 started on a disastrous note for them as they lost the Test, ODI and T20I series in South Africa before losing to Australia. In the World Cup, they failed to progress ahead of the league stage. In their last assignment, Pakistan had suffered a humiliating whitewash at the hands of Sri Lanka in a three-match T20I series at home.

Nathan Lyon hails Pakistan team

But despite Australia looking firm favorites for the series, their spin spearhead Nathan Lyon has made it clear that the hosts would not take the visitors lightly. Lyon heaped praise on Pakistan’s new T20I captain Babar Azam and Test captain Azhar Ali and said that Australia would prepare well for the upcoming series.

“The likes of Babar, he’s world class. Azhar Ali, he’s absolutely exceptional & he had a great series last time they were here. They’ve got world class players throughout the whole squad so we’re going to have to make sure we’re doing our best job preparing well,” Lyon was quoted as saying by Pakistan journalist Saj Sadiq.

‘Unpredictability biggest threat’

Meanwhile, Australia fast bowler Josh Hazlewood has said unpredictability makes Pakistan a very dangerous side. The right-arm pacer pointed out the Brisbane Test of 2016 when Pakistan nearly chased down an improbable 490 to back his claim as he said, “Just when you think they’re in doubt is when they can pull out a performance, just like last time they were here. It’s that unpredictability with Pakistan which is their biggest threat.”

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