Lyon likely to be picked before Faulkner

Australia

Coach Darren Lehmann has all but confirmed spinner Nathan Lyon's presence in Australia's XI for the third Ashes Test, which will start at the Western Australia Cricket Association Ground in Perth on Friday.

Coach Darren Lehmann has all but confirmed spinner Nathan Lyon's presence in Australia's XI for the third Ashes Test, which will start at the Western Australia Cricket Association Ground in Perth on Friday.

Lyon accrued a solid stretch of form in the Brisbane and Adelaide matches, which the Aussies won comfortably to take a commanding two-nil lead in the five-fixture series.

The hard and fast nature of the WACA pitch, however, suggested the hosts opt for an all-pace attack, with all-rounder James Faulkner tipped to replace Lyon. Lehmann, however, has ostensibly begged to differ.

"We'll have to look at the wicket first and foremost, see what it's like. If we think it warrants Faulkner playing and the four quicks so be it," said Lehmann.

"But, look, it's going to be hot weather here – it's 35 and getting up to 40 on Monday – so we'll probably, I think we'll play the spinner.

"Again, we've got to work out who has pulled up fit from the last Test match, so good question. We'll see what happens."

The in-form Mitchell Johnson sports a formidable record in Perth, having romped through 36 wickets in five Tests at an average of under 20. Curator Matt Page, meanwhile, is expecting conditions to play right into the hands of the pace ace.

"Mitchell only played one Shield game here – first game of the season – and he was pretty happy with it. I think this one will be quicker than that one was," added Page.

"Spinning-wise you'll get the footmarks day four, day five. You'll get a bit of turn out of there. Spinners here normally get the bounce more than anything."

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