Lyon: We always want to play against the best players

Nathan Lyon says Australia’s cricketers are excited by the prospect of facing Proteas fast bowler Kagiso Rabada in the third Test at Newlands after the paceman had his two-match ban overturned.

Rabada was suspended for the remainder of the four-match series after going over the threshold of eight demerit points for brushing the shoulder of Steve Smith when he dismissed the Australia captain in the second Test.

The CSA legal team appealed the verdict successfully though which makes Rabada available for the Newlands Test that starts on Thursday.

Lyon told the media in Cape Town on Tuesday: “As Australian cricketers, we always want to play against the best players in the world and KG is the No 1 bowler in the world.

“It’s going to be another great challenge for all of us. We were preparing for him to play. Our preparation yesterday and today has been outstanding.

“It’s not for me to sit here and say if it’s the right one or wrong one. I respect it.

“Let’s just move on and go play some good cricket. It’s 1-1 and there are two massive Test matches to go. We have to play our best to beat South Africa.”

Lyon also said their own fast bowler Mitchell Starc will be fit and ready for the third Test after he had been struggling in the build up to the game with a calf injury.

Lyon said: “I heard (opener) Cameron Bancroft say that he was bowling quite quick, so that’s exciting to have him up and going.

“I know the bowlers are feeling pretty fresh after a couple of days off. It’s been a big summer for them … but I’ve got no doubts about Starcy.”

Nasri Alexander at Newlands