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Shane Warne has helped out at Australia s training before the third Test against South Africa.
AP Shane Warne has helped out at Australia's training before the third Test against South Africa.

Shane Warne expects Nathan Lyon to play a crucial role in the Test series decider after schooling the offspinner on the best ways to dismiss South Africa's brightest stars.

Warne is on deck in Cape Town as a spin consultant for the third Test and spent most of his time at training on Thursday with Lyon.

The 44-year-old legspin legend suggested a much-improved Lyon was in form and shapes as a clear point of difference in the clash that starts at Newlands on Saturday.

"Spin will play a big part in this Test match ... they will have a pretty coarse, dry wicket here in Cape Town so it will reverse-swing a lot. But also it brings the spinners in," Warne said.

"We've got an advantage over South Africa with Nathan Lyon bowling so well. They will probably rely on part-timers (JP Duminy and Dean Elgar).

"We worked on a few things today in the nets with a few tactical things against their players that he has had some good battles with."

Lyon was Australia's most productive bowler in the last-start loss at Port Elizabeth, taking 5-130 in the first innings.

Warne said criticism of Lyon has been "harsh" at times, and that a more aggressive approach would make him the complete package.

"He's bowled well this series. What he has to learn, which he will over time, is how to bowl in the first innings and take wickets," Warne said.

"When the wickets aren't turning, in those first few days when it's hard work for the quicks, if a spinner can break that (big) partnership ... then the spinner has done a great job."

Warne rolled the arm over at training on Thursday, and will also worked with Twenty20 spinners James Muirhead, Brad Hogg and Glenn Maxwell who are in the Republic to prepare for three upcoming T20 clashes.

Warne suggested he won't be exclusively dispensing advice to fellow tweakers.

"I'm here to be with the Test guys every day, be around the group and just help out," Warne said.

"Boof (Darren Lehmann) just said 'Whatever, you see if you want to have a chat with someone about anything, just (do) whatever you want to do'."