Lyon expects flatter decks in SA

Australia off-spinner Nathan Lyon feels the Proteas may prepare docile tracks to strike a balance against Mitchell Starc and group.

Australia off-spinner Nathan Lyon was the highest wicket-taker in 2017 with 63 scalps in 11 Tests.   -  AFP

 

The upcoming Test series between South Africa and Australia is being labelled as a pace shootout, considering the similar nature of wickets in the countries. But the buzz is that Steve Smith’s side may be greeted to much more flatter decks as it starts the sojourn from Durban on Thursday.

“I'm expecting flatter wickets than they had for the Indian series, especially with the bowling attacks floating around,” Australia off-spinner Nathan Lyon told The Sydney Morning Herald on Wednesday.

Read: Australia’s fearsome attack creates dilemma for South Africa

Having worked as a groundsman at Adelaide Oval prior to his baggy green dream, Lyon is competent to decode strategies. “Hopefully it will spin, it looks like a pretty good pitch,” he added.

Even Durban’s surface has changed with time. “I haven't played a game here since the last Test against England, that was quite low and slow. I don't see it being too dissimilar to what we had against England,” South Africa opener Dean Elgar told reporters, adding that the nature of the strip may help the Proteas. “Against Australia you potentially have to slow the game down,” he added.

Also read: Morkel to retire from international cricket

Among the other participants in the pace fest, all eyes will be on Morne Morkel who picked this series as his swansong. He will be supported by Kagiso Rabada and Vernon Philander.

Australia is likely to bombard the Proteas with bouncers; courtesy the usual suspects — Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood and Pat Cummins.