Spinner to get Lyon’s share of Aussie bowling
ALL the talk has been about how fast bowlers will be key to the outcome of the second Test, but Aussie skipper Steve Smith reckons spinner Nathan Lyon has a big role to play at the WACA.
With temperatures set to reach the high 30s in Perth, it is likely the pitch will begin to crack quite early in the game, allowing the off-spinner to come into his own.
The Aussie skipper said he was considering shorter rotations for his pace bowlers, meaning Lyon would likely get more work at the WACA.
"I think it's going to be quite warm, so that's definitely a possibility," Smith said.
"It's nice to have a spinner that bowls really well on bouncy tracks. I think it suits him really well, so there's a good chance he'll bowl quite a few overs."
Smith confirmed Australia would field an unchanged side, with Peter Siddle again the man to miss out.
The captain said it was important his team did not get over confident and not take the Kiwis lightly.
"They're a quality line-up," Smith said. "They've played some good cricket over the last couple of years and they're a good side.
"Hopefully we can start off well the first day and drive the game from there.
"I think we did that really well in Brisbane and I think that's really important here."
Starc enjoyed career-best match figures at the WACA in 2012 (8/209), while Johnson's 8-61 in 2008 in Perth are his best Test figures.
"The breeze is going to play a part whether Mitch Johnson opens the bowling," Smith said. "It really depends which way it's going. We'll wait and see."
Coach Darren Lehmann was unhappy with some of the fielding in the first Test and the skipper, too, said things had to improve.
"We set ourselves some really high standards and we let ourselves down a little bit in that department," he said.
"I think one of the best places to field is in the slips because you get a bit of time to see the ball.
"So hopefully we can hold our catches this match." The trans-Tasman rivals have met in six Tests at the WACA since 1980.
Australia has two victories, New Zealand one, and the other three have been draws.