sport

Warne: Aussies can topple SA

Shane Warne has backed Australia to topple top-ranked South Africa in their forthcoming Test series.

The two teams will embark on a three-match series in Brisbane on November 9 and leg-spinning legend Warne feels that home advantage for Australia will prove the decisive factor.

"When you're at home, you're expected to win," Warne stated. "There's no real standout side for me. Anyone can beat anyone and when it's at home, I would expect Australia to beat South Africa.

"It will be a great contest - it will be the bowlers who are on display for both teams, they will really test the batsmen's techniques. Young (James) Pattinson is really on fire here at the moment."

But while impressed by Australia's current crop of pace bowlers, Warne acknowledged that their spin options remain rather thin on the ground and bemoaned the loss to a shoulder injury of left-armer Jon Holland.

"Jon Holland is a big loss, I had him pencilled in about 12-18 months ago that he and Nathan Lyon would be on the Ashes (tour) next year," Warne continued.

"I was hopeful that both would play, especially with the balance of the team when you have guys like Shane Watson, Mitchell Marsh who could play as all-rounders.

"It's a real big loss to lose 'Dutchy' (Holland), he's really improved."