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Australia off-spinner Nathan Lyon is looking forward to facing India at home later this year – with or without crowds.

India are set to visit Australia in December to begin a four-match Test series, but with continued uncertainty surrounding the coronavirus pandemic, there remains the possibility of fixtures being played behind closed doors if they do take place as scheduled.

“I’m excited about the prospect of India coming out to Australia, it is up there with the biggest series alongside the Ashes,” Lyon told reporters in a video press conference. “Obviously, they’re an absolute powerhouse of the cricket world. To have those guys out here, it’s going to be fantastic. Playing in front of crowds or no crowds is out of our control. We’ve got to be supported by and follow the advice of all the amazing medical people around the world.

“I haven’t really thought about playing in front of no crowds or massive crowds – it’s just about the opportunity of playing against India again. They had the wood over us last time they came over here but I feel like we’re a much stronger side at the moment.”

Lyon also admitted to pondering how India captain Virat Kohli – an animated presence on the field during his side’s last tour Down Under in 2018/19 – might fare in front of an empty stadium.

“He’s probably pretty good enough to adapt to any scenario,” Lyon said. “But it’s funny you say that. I was actually talking to Mitch Starc the other day and we actually said that if we are playing with no crowd, it’ll be quite amazing to see Virat trying to rev up the [empty] seats. It’s going to be a little bit different, but Virat is a superstar. He’ll be able to adapt to any climate that we’re able to play in.”

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