Test star Lyon's duel with Kohli cut short

Steve Larkin
·1-min read

Australia's Test spinner Nathan Lyon is disappointed his summer duel with India's megastar Virat Kohli will be cut short.

The India skipper will return home after the first Test in Adelaide, starting December 17, to be at the birth of his first child.

Lyon says the absence of Kohli will be a blow for the summer as a showpiece.

"It's disappointing to be honest," Lyon said on Wednesday.

"Obviously it's exciting for Virat and his wife to be able to have their first child.

"And I wish him and his wife the very best for the upcoming challenges of being a parent.

"It's disappointing for the series.

"You want to play against the best players in the world and he is the best player in the world, up there with Smithy (Steven Smith) and Marnus (Labuschagne)."

Lyon has dismissed Kohli in Test cricket more times than any other bowler - but still only seven times in 17 Tests.

But he said it would be folly to suggest India would be pushovers without Kohli in the Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane Tests.

"They have still got superstars," Lyon said.

"Look at (Cheteshwar) Pujara out here last year, (Ajinkya) Rahana, and they have got a couple of young guns coming through.

"It's still going to be a massive challenge.

"Just because Virat's not playing doesn't mean we get to hold the trophy up at the end of the series."