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Spinner Lyon tipped for key Test role
Steve Larkin
15:24 AEST Wed Nov 21 2012

Australian captain Michael Clarke reckons Nathan Lyon shouldn't change it.

South African captain Graeme Smith says the Proteas respect Lyon for it.

And Adelaide Oval's curator says his former groundsman will spin it.

The trio all believe Lyon's tweakers will play a central role in the second Test in Adelaide starting on Thursday.

Less than two years ago, Lyon watched from the ground staff's tractor as Australia lost an Ashes Test on a pitch he helped prepare at Adelaide Oval.

But captain Clarke says the 25-year-old South Australian is now in a far better place.

"He can contain if he has to ... but then if there is an opportunity for Nathan to put more pressure on the batters, I think he has got the skills to do that as well," Clarke said on Wednesday.

"I know he wants to do well in front of his home crowd.

"But as I have said to Nathan plenty of times, he needs to keep doing exactly what he's doing, don't change a thing, and he will continue to have success at the highest level."

South Africa were expected to target Lyon as the perceived weak link in Australia's bowling.

"Nathan is proving to be a solid performer for Australia and that is exactly how we view him," Proteas' skipper Smith said on Wednesday.

"We haven't taken an arrogant view on him maybe that some other people have.

"We respect what he is capable of and he will play a role in this game."

The oval's curator Damian Hough said his former staffer could thrive on a pitch likely to yield increasing spin as the game wore on.

"I would still expect there to be plenty of spin for him," Hough said on Wednesday.


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