Australia spinner Nathan Lyon expects India to 'come out firing' in Melbourne Test

Opening batsman David Warner unavailable for Boxing Day Test

Australian off-spinner Nathan Lyon expects a fightback from the Indian team after the Adelaide Test collapse.

India were bowled out for just 36 in the second innings as Virat Kohli's team went from holding a 53-run first innings lead to losing the opening Test inside three days.

However, Lyon said the the second innings in Adelaide was no reflection on the quality of the touring side, recalling that he was part of an Australian team bowled out for 47 in South Africa in 2011.

Australia bounced back from that humiliation to win their next Test against the Proteas and Lyon said India will be looking for a similar response in the second Test that begins at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on Boxing Day.

"I don't think it will be that difficult when you look at the quality of the Indian side, they've got some absolutely world-class players through the whole squad," he said.

"It was one of those days where nothing goes right for them and everything goes right for us – we've all had them, it's part of the game.

"But no doubt they're training the house down now. We're expecting them to come out firing and not have any scars from the other day."

Lyon was confident India will remain competitive without skipper Virat Kohli, who returned home after the opening Test for the birth of his first child.

"I think there are enough guys in the Indian squad who can fill Virat's shoes," he said.

The veteran spinner, who has taken 391 Test wickets, said India were likely to target Lyon's off spin in Melbourne, given the red-hot form of their pace bowlers.

"It think it'll be one of the tactics to come after me, which is totally fine, I'm pretty used to it," he said.

"For me it's all fun and part of playing Test cricket. Being a spin bowler, you're always going to have guys trying to attack you, it's all a great challenge to be honest."

Meanwhile, star Australian batsman David Warner will miss the Boxing Day Test against India after failing to recover from the groin injury that kept him out of the opening match.

Warner and paceman Sean Abbott had also been excluded from the Australian team's bio-secure bubble in Melbourne as a precaution due to a Covid-19 outbreak in their hometown Sydney.

"While neither player has been in a specific hotspot as outlined by NSW Health, Cricket Australia's bio-security protocols do not allow them to rejoin the squad in time for the Boxing Day Test," Cricket Australia said.

Warner and Abbott flew to Melbourne on Saturday hoping to avoid quarantine issues arising from the Sydney Covid-19 outbreak.

But the team's Covid-19 protocols prevented them from joining the squad in time for the Test, and Cricket Australia said Warner would not have recovered from in time anyway.

Warner limped out of Australia's second one-day international against the tourists last month in agony after suffering the injury.

Authorities in New South Wales state have been scrambling to contain a virus cluster that emerged in Sydney's northern beaches after a long period of no community transmission in Australia's largest city.

The cluster currently stands at just under 100, and the state government announced a second day of single-digit growth in cases Wednesday and eased lockdown restrictions for Christmas.

It remains unclear whether the outbreak will affect the third Test against India, which is due to begin in Sydney on January 7.

"I know Cricket Australia's doing everything in their power to have the Test match in Sydney but we'll know more in a couple of days," Lyon said.

"Fingers crossed it's in Sydney, but more importantly hopefully everyone stays safe and can have a decent Christmas."

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