Australia's Nathan Lyon celebrates with team mates after taking a wicket. Photo: REUTERS/David Gray

CAPE TOWN: Nathan Lyon doesn't want to discuss the merits of Kagiso Rabada's suspension being overturned, with the Australian off-spinner just saying "I respect it".

Rabada escaped a two-match suspension for the shoulder incident with Steve Smith during the second Test at St George's Park in Port Elizabeth after his initial Level 2 three demerit censure was downgraded to a Level 1 demerit charge. 

The change allows Rabada to play in the third Test starting at Newlands on Thursday.

"It's not for me to sit here and say if it's the right one or wrong one ... I respect it," Lyon told reporters at Newlands.

"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 insisted that the tourists were preparing to face Rabada regardless of the outcome of the hearing, and were excited that the World's No 1 fast bowler will be part of the remaining two Test matches.

"It's exciting," Lyon said. "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. The ICC has made their decision and we respect them ... that's their job. We've got no dramas with it."

Australia are expected to name an unchanged team after both Mitchell Marsh and Mitchell Starc came through their respective fitness tests on Tuesday morning. Starc bowled for a lengthy period out in the middle at Newlands at full pace.

“I have no doubt about Starcy,” Lyon said. “He is ready to go. Cameron Bancroft was saying he was bowling quite quickly. Exciting to have him up and going. The bowlers have had a few days off after a big summer leading into the last two Tests.”

The nature of the Newlands’ surface has also changed overnight with plenty of the grass being taken off. Unlike recent Test matches at the famed old ground, it expected that it could go the distance of all five days.

This will undoubtedly bring the spinners like Lyon into the contest, which could set up an enticing battle with the two left-handers in the South African top-order, especially Dean Elgar.

Lyon has claimed Elgar’s wicket on two occasions already in this series, with the opener admitting he has been “crap”.

“He is just playing it down,” Lyon said of Elgar. “He is world class batter, and you have these arm wrestles with certain players. I am not going to take him lightly because he has said I have the wood over him.

“I bowled 20 overs to him and I couldn’t get him out in the first dig. He is a class batter and I am looking forward to the challenge again and coming up against the likes of Dean and the rest of the South African batting unit.”

IOL Sport

Like us on Facebook

Follow us on Twitter