The Ashes are just one Test away but Nathan Lyon insists one eye shouldn’t be cast forward to the showpiece tour until well after the Canberra clash with Sri Lanka.
The Ashes are just one Test away but Nathan Lyon insists one eye shouldn’t be cast forward to the showpiece tour until well after the Canberra clash with Sri Lanka.

One Test away: Looming Ashes no focus for Aussies

The Ashes are just one Test away but Nathan Lyon insists one eye shouldn't be cast forward to the showpiece tour until well after the Canberra clash with Sri Lanka.

Australia will embark on six months of one-day cricket following the second Test against the tourists, all positioned towards the 50-over World Cup in England.

That will present a significant gulf in preparations, with long-form players left to focus on the final four rounds of the Sheffield Shield using a Dukes Ball, and the Australia A tour of England, before the start of the Edgbaston Test on July 1.

"It's not a difficult situation," Lyon said.

"There's a lot of water to cross under the bridge before we even start thinking about the Ashes.

"There's white-ball cricket around the corner but also Shield cricket.

"It's not our last game before the Ashes, we're going to have great prep leading up to the Ashes but I'm not even considering that at the moment."

There are still a number of pieces of Australia's jigsaw puzzle to be solved before then as well.

Jhye Richardson's debut and Pat Cummins' sparkling form helped Australia's attack rebound at the Gabba, but Mitchell Starc needs to re-find his best while the injured Josh Hazlewood also had a tough series against India.

Steve Smith and David Warner - both recovering from injured elbows and waiting to return from their year-long bans - should fill some gaps in the batting but what form they return in remains to be seen.

Australia's batsmen have struggled through a tough summer, with Canberra their last chance to avoid going a home season of three Tests or more without a century since 1882-83.

England also have their own problems.

After winning Test series against India and Sri Lanka in the past year they were surprisingly trounced by the West Indies in Bridgetown last week.

News Corp Australia


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