A sympathetic Nathan Lyon is not too worried about the Australian batsmen's abject first-innings surrender in the third Test against India at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG), saying "success for them is around the corner".
The hosts were placed at 258 for eight Saturday, chasing a target of 399, and are two wickets away from conceding a 2-1 series lead to the visitors.
"I see how much hard work the guys are doing in the nets and in training. We know they are working hard and not going out to fail. They have all my support," Lyon said at the end of fourth day's play.
"We are up against a world-class bowling attack, one of the best Indian attacks I have ever seen. They are disappointed but I know how hard they are working. Success for them is around the corner," he added.
In reply to India's first-innings total of 443 for seven declared, the hosts failed to counter India's bowling attack and were bowled out for 151.
"I am a massive fan of Aaron Finch. He is working hard and seeing a lot of balls in nets. We have seen him in international cricket in all three formats as a world-class batsman. He is disappointed as anyone else is," he added, backing the under-fire opener after yet another failure.
The Australian batting failed for a second time in this Test, after getting bowled out poorly in the first innings. They were reduced to 176 for seven in the second innings before Pat Cummins saved the day for them and took matters into the fifth day.
"Pat Cummins has been exceptional in this match and he keeps getting better every day. I enjoy batting with pat helps calm down my nerves and it was an exciting challenge. It was a pretty special knock from him.
"He is a great bloke but even better cricketer. Seeing where he started from and seeing where he is now, he has a hell of a long career ahead of him," said Lyon.
"First innings' runs are counted in whichever Test match you play. Basically you are ahead of that game if you have runs on board. Unfortunately we missed that and now we are up against it," he added.
Lyon had special praise for Jasprit Bumrah, who has picked eight wickets in this match--including a six-wicket haul in the first innings-- and has been India's stand out bowler. However, the Australian bowler said that their last two wickets would show a lot of fight on Sunday and would not go down easy to hand India a victory.
"Bumrah is quick and has a very good slower one. He is world class and has all skills a very good all-round package. Not surprised that he is a top bowler in Test cricket so quickly because I have seen him in white ball cricket. So he is obviously a top class bowler."
"Pat and I are going to come out tomorrow and we are going to fight. We have to show a lot of pride and fight hard, and show what it means to wear the Baggy Green cap.We are going to win first ball in first over, and show a lot of fight and pride in playing for Australia. And we will enjoy doing that," Lyon signed off.