Hazlewood: Lyon crucial to Australia chances against India

Nathan Lyon will be crucial to Australia's chances of beating India in the upcoming Test series, according to Josh Hazlewood.

The Aussies have their first-choice pace line-up of Hazlewood, Mitchell Starc and Pat Cummins for the four-match series that starts in Adelaide on Thursday.

That trio were so influential in the home battering of England in the 2017-18 Ashes, but Hazlewood says that they are able to flourish due to off-spinner Lyon's contribution.

"He's the key for me with the four of us. You have Starcy, who bowls shorter spells, and sometimes Patty too, so to have Nath, it even worked well two weeks ago when we played the Shield game," he said.

"Nathan pretty much bowled from one end after the new ball and we filtered through from the other end. 

"It's hard to get a run off him and he takes wickets, it's good to have that down the other end and he makes that group what it is.

"That was the key last year, the partnerships. We always talk about batting in partnerships. The way we bowled, it wasn't about any individual, we all took 20 wickets-plus the whole summer.

"With our bowling attack, we're very confident and based on last year, we had quite a good template there and it worked pretty well [in the Ashes]. 

"So, we'll be looking to replicate that and test it against one of the best batting orders in the world."

India struggled with the ball in a four-day Tour match against a Cricket Australia XI, conceding 544 runs.

But Cheteshwar Pujara played down the significance of that bowling performance.

"Conceding 500 runs in a warm-up game doesn't mean anything. We are not very much worried about it," he said. 

"Our bowlers know what they have to do. They know what line and lengths to bowl in Australia."

Off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin has struggled in Australia previously, taking 21 wickets at 54.71 over two tours.

But Pujara says Ashwin has worked hard to be able to bowl effectively in different conditions.

"I always say that he's a clever bowler. He reads the batsmen really well," he added.

"And if you see his recent bowling, I think he's made a lot of changes, he's made some adjustments which have helped him.

"He's also played some county cricket and he's played enough cricket in England, which is obviously overseas and different conditions and not much help for the spinners. 

"So, I think playing in Australia, he knows what he has to do. He's very confident now and whatever adjustments he has to make, he's already done it."

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