Nathan Lyon
Nathan Lyon Getty Images

Lyon 'confident', unfazed by South African line-up

SPINNER Nathan Lyon says he will not be fazed by a South African batting line-up featuring four of the world's top 10 batsmen.

Lyon looks likely to take his spot at the Gabba for Friday's first Test against the Proteas with both coach Mickey Arthur and captain Michael Clarke, keen to have a spin option in the line-up.

The Proteas have Hashim Amla (No.2), Jacques Kallis (4), AB de Villiers (5) and captain Graeme Smith at No.7 in the latest Test batting rankings.

But despite that daunting proposition, Lyon is confident he and his teammates have what it takes to take on the No.1-ranked side in the world."

It's really coming out well at the moment," Lyon said.

"I am really confident in my own skill set at the moment.

"And it's going to be a great challenge for all our bowlers.

"We had a really good chat as a group and we are really excited about the upcoming series.

"They are great but we have got a great squad also.

"Hopefully I can do my part and do something for the team."

The last time he played at the Gabba - in November last year - Lyon had match figures of 7-88 against the Kiwis.

He said he could not wait for Friday to come around to have a go at the best in the world.

"I have great memories here," Lyon said.

"I am really looking forward to getting out there and getting the opportunity to bowl for my country."

There was better news on the injury front for Australia yesterday with veteran Ricky Ponting coming through a net session at the Gabba.

Ponting, who was pulled out of the Sheffield Shield match between Tasmania and South Australia last week after being troubled by a tight hamstring on day one of that game, looked untroubled yesterday after being put through his paces.

And Ponting said it was important the Australians realised just how far up the pecking order this side was.

"They're the number one ranked team in the world, and deservedly so, but we're breathing down their necks," he said.

The 37-year-old got used to teams doing all they could to beat Australia during his captaincy and he expects the same approach to be taken against the Proteas.

"I know whenever we were the number one team in the world it just meant every time the opposition played you they wanted to knock you off," he said.

"They wanted to see where they were at compared to you..

"We're really excited about that and looking forward to that challenge. I know if we play our best, we'll give them a hell of a scare that's for sure.".



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