Australian spinner Nathan Lyon has dismissed concerns over England's 'Baz-ball' approach and the possibility of boundary ropes being brought in during the upcoming Ashes series.
Some of the Ashes venues already come close to the minimum permitted boundary length of 59 metres set by the International Cricket Council's regulations. Generally, grounds in the UK have smaller dimensions compared to those used for international cricket in Australia.
But while Lyon, as a spinner, is more susceptible than others to being smacked for a maximum, he believes that shortening the boundaries would not give England any advantage.
"They're going to come hard at me no matter what type of boundary it is," he told Cricket.com.au.
"I'm not worried by it at all, I'm not scared by it. It provides a chance (of taking wickets) in my eyes.
"I've planned for that and I'm excited by that challenge. I want to challenge myself against the best players, and this brand of cricket they're playing is certainly bringing the crowds back. It's exciting."
Lyon also admitted his admiration for England's "team full of superstars" and suggested that they would put up a sterner fight than they did during the most recent Ashes campaign in 2021-22. The five-Test series begins on June 16 at Edgbaston.
Lyon also noted the strong position Australia finds itself in, acknowledging that while England are "probably are in a better position than 18 months ago... I look at our squad, and I think we are as well, looking what we've been able to achieve over the last 18 or 24 months."
"We play the Australian way of cricket, the Australian brand, and in my eyes, that's always been quite attacking cricket anyway," he added.
The series promises to be an exciting and captivating spectacle, considering the significant alterations that the English cricket team has undergone since the 2019 Ashes, in which the Aussies were able to routinely limit them to less than three runs an over. The English team has since made drastic progress, increasing their average run rate to almost five an over, thanks to the appointment of renowned hard-hitter Brendon McCullum as the head coach and the selection of Ben Stokes as the captain. This rate is likely to be improved even further given the potential for shortened boundaries.
Still, Lyon remains optimistic, noting how "it's the same for us. It's not like they can bring the boundary in when we bat and then push it out again."
"The players now are extremely professional, everyone is doing the work. There's a lot of lot of net sessions happening back here in Australia.
"We're doing the work and I know that we'll be ready."