Pujara is ‘biggest challenge’ for Australia

‘He’s a very talented batsman and able to bat long period of time.’

Australian Off-spinner Nathan Lyon says India’s batting mainstay Cheteshwar Pujara will be one of the ‘biggest challenges’ for his team in the four Test series starting next month.

‘Every one does talk about Virat (Kohli), but Pujara is a superstar in his own right. Not as flashy as Virat or Rohit (Sharma) but his record stands out. He’s a very talented batsman and able to bat long period of time,’ Lyon said in an online Q&A with NewsCorp readers on the HeraldSun Website on Thursday.

Pujara was key in India’s historic Test series triumph in Australia two years ago. The India No 3 hit three centuries for an aggregate of 521 runs at an average of 74, as the visitors won the four Test series 2-1 for their first-ever Test series win Down Under.

‘He’s going to be up there with one of the biggest challenges that stands in our way,’ added Lyon, who took 21 wickets against India in the 2018-2019 series.

India begin their Test series with the day-night pink ball Test at the Adelaide Oval from December 17.

Asked which batsman he found it very difficult to dismiss, Lyon replied: ‘M S Dhoni. He was probably the hardest to dismiss. But you look at A B de Villiers and others as well.’

Lyon picked his match-winning haul of 12 wickets — 5/134 and 7/152 — against India in a high-scoring Adelaide Test in 2014 as his favourite bowling performance in Tests.

‘It’s hard to go past India in 2014 at the Adelaide Oval. Just with everything that surrounded that Test with Phil Hughes. Then you look at the Edgbaston Test last year in the Ashes, that was pretty special as well.’

Lyon, who is the third highest wicket-taker for Australia in Tests after Shane Warne and Glenn McGrath with 390 wickets in 96 Tests, said his most prized scalp is Sachin Tendulkar’s wicket during the first innings of the Chennai Test in February 2013.

‘The biggest one is bowling Sachin Tendulkar through the gate at Chennai.’

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