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The Ashes: Nathan Lyon says Australia are in confident mood ahead of Brisbane

Nathan Lyon is looking forward to taking on the England batsmen

Spinner Nathan Lyon says Australia are very confident that they can defeat England in this winter's Ashes series, which gets underway on Thursday in Brisbane.

The Aussies were beaten 3-0 in England over the summer but the series was more competitive than the score-line suggests.

And Lyon, who will be in the Australia XI for the first Test this week unless they opt for an all-seam attack, was in bullish mood on Monday.

"As far as I'm concerned, and from Australia's point of view, we're really up for the fight already," said Lyon.

"I don't really care what England are doing, I don't even know where they are and I don't care where they are, to be honest.

"We have an Australian unit here, we got together today, and the feeling is really good at the moment. We can't wait for Thursday.

"As a group, we've got a big belief that we can knock off the English. There's no point hiding it, we're here to win the Ashes back.

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"We're pretty lucky that, coming off a losing Ashes series, we get the chance to win that as a group here in Australia, so we're looking forward to it."

Hopeful

The Aussies are optimistic that Shane Watson will be fit for the opener and Lyon added: "Shane Watson's a vital member of our side with bat and ball, everyone knows that.

"He's doing a lot of work with our physio so, fingers crossed, he'll be right for the first Test."

England's powerful batting line-up racked up some huge totals in the last Ashes series in Australia but Lyon is optimistic they can be kept quiet this time.

"I love the challenge of bowling to a couple of the best players in the world, no matter who they are," he said.

"We're going to target all 11 cricketers that come out and represent England.

"We don't know if (Michael) Carberry's going to be playing, we'll have to wait and see come Thursday morning, then we're definitely going to be targeting all the English players who come out.

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"I'm confident in my own skill set to get the job done. We're tight as a group here and our bowling group is really strong. We don't mind who takes a wicket, as long as we take 20 wickets in a Test match. Our bowling is strong and really going well, and we can't wait to get stuck in."

Excited

Asked what it would mean to win the Ashes, Lyon said: "Words can't describe it. We sit down as a group, or even in couples, and just talk about how good it will be when we win the Ashes.

"We're excited to be a part of it and we can't wait to really put it to the English and hopefully return the urn.

"We are confident. We're the Australian cricket team coming out to represent our country to play the English. As a kid growing up, that's your dream."

The opening Ashes Test gets under way on Sky Sports 2 HD from 11pm on Wednesday

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