Australia spinner Nathan Lyon has insisted that his side won’t take South Africa lightly during the upcoming four-Test series, which begins on Thursday in Durban.
Australia haven’t lost a Test series in South Africa since the Proteas’ readmission to Test cricket in 1991, but while the Baggy Greens will be looking to extend their unbeaten streak, Lyon knows that it will be easier said than done.
Furthermore, the Proteas defeated India, who are the top-ranked Test team, 2-1 in their most recent Test assignment.
“The whole side is in a better place. There’s been a big change since the last time South Africa were in Australia,” Lyon was quoted as saying by sacricketmag.com. “You have to give them credit, they totally outplayed us in our own conditions. That didn’t go down well with myself or the whole side.
“We’ve spoken about coming over here and have really enjoyed coming over here in the last couple of series. We (are) not going to take that for granted. We not coming here thinking that we going to get an automatic success.
“We trained really well. We had an unbelievable training session, the boys are firing and there’s a lot of confidence in the changing room.
“But, as I said before, 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 competing and challenging the South Africans.”
Lyon pointed out that South Africa batsman AB de Villiers will be considered the golden wicket during the series. De Villiers has recovered from a knee injury, which caused him to miss the Twenty20 series against India, but during the Test series against the same opposition, he scored 203 runs, which included two half-centuries, at an average of 35.16.
“AB is a world-class player,” Lyon said. “He has been for a long time and it showed by his consistency. He’s scored runs all around the world and probably brings calmness to their middle order. It will be a massive challenge for me, especially if he’s batting for long periods of time.
“We will sit down and work out plans to interrupt his series. But he’s a world-class player as I said before and I always want to challenge myself against the best batsmen in the World and AB de Villiers is one of the best of the world. It’s going to be a hell of a series and exciting as I keep saying.”