Lyon wants revenge for Proteas loss

28 February 2018 06:47:35 EST

Spinner Nathan Lyon reckons Australia are better equipped to take on South Africa than they were in last year's Test series at home.

Lyon and his teammates are after revenge after losing 2-1 to the Proteas, and want to keep intact their proud record of not losing a Test series in South Africa since 1969-70.

Ahead of the four-match Test series, Lyon says the whole team is in a "better place", especially after they handed England a 4-0 hammering in the Ashes series.

There's been an improvement since their defeat 12 months ago, he added, after they felt they'd been outplayed in their own conditions.

"That didn't go down well with myself or the whole side," said Lyon. "We are not going to take that for granted; we are not coming here thinking that we are going to get an automatic success.

"We pay the South Africans a lot of respect as they have some class players. We have to see how we go, but we need to make sure that we are competing and challenging the South Africans.”

Australia hope to have the Proteas feeling under threat when facing their quick bowlers Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazlewood.

The hosts are expected to have slower surfaces to try to negate their fast bowlers, though they'll also have to contend with Lyon who took 21 wickets in the Ashes series.

The spinner said: "I am very confident in my stock ball at the moment and in my consistency, so I am not going to be changing too much. It's going to be a great challenge for myself coming up against some of the best batters in the world.”

South Africa expect captain Faf du Plessis, batsman AB de Villiers and wicketkeeper Quinton de Kock to all return from injuries for the first Test in Durban.

Australia are 1/1 to win the first Test, with South Africa 8/5 and the draw 9/2.

Nathan Lyon is 14/1 to be man of the match.

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