Arthur defends Lyon’s spin-bowling

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    Australia Test offspinner Nathan Lyon said on Monday he couldn’t care less about accusations he bowls too fast.

    “I’m definitely not afraid of tossing it up and seeing if they want to take me on and really explore and get in that contest and try and get some wickets,” Lyon told reporters.

    “I’m not really fazed about what people are coming out and saying.

    “We’re out there in the middle. We know what pace we have to bowl on that pitch.

    “It’s easy sitting at home. I’m communicating with ‘Pup’ (Michael Clarke) and ‘Wadey’ (wicketkeeper Matthew Wade) every over about my pace.”

    Lyon attracted more criticism following his 0-57 in Sri Lanka’s second innings in last week’s first Test in Hobart.

    Former Test legspinner Stuart MacGill said not only was Lyon rushing through his overs too quickly but he was bowling too fast.

    “People are going to have their own opinion but I’m really confident in my own skill set,” said Lyon, 25.

    “I have the full confidence of (coach and selector) Mickey Arthur and (captain and selector) Michael Clarke.

    “Whatever people are saying outside the Australian cricket room doesn’t really affect me.

    “I’m learning every time I go out to bowl,” the 17-Test player added.

    “There have been a couple of day-five pitches but in Adelaide South Africa batted fantastic and in Hobart we got the result (with pacemen Peter Siddle, Mitchell Starc and Shane Watson sharing the 10 wickets between them).

    “There are a lot of expectations on the spinner but I’m not worried about that.

    “I’m worried about doing the right thing for the team and working well with ‘Pup’ and all the other bowlers.”

    Arthur took a swipe on Monday at Lyon’s critics.

    “I’ve read a lot about Nathan Lyon over the last couple of weeks. He’s still the quickest offspinner to 50 wickets,” Arthur said.

    “He’s young. He’s still finding out about his bowling.

    “He has immense potential though. Spinners only reach their peak at 28 or 29.

    “Nathan’s doing everything right.”

    Lyon said the Australians had backed their quicks to do the damage on a Hobart pitch that offered variable bounce.

    “Hopefully here or even the SCG might be a bit more friendly to spin bowling,” Lyon said.

    “It comes down to the different conditions and the different roles you have to play.”

    Sri Lanka’s retired spin great Muttiah Muralitharan also had a pop at Lyon on Monday in a News Limited newspaper column.

    “Australia doesn’t have the person to take wickets on a turning wicket,” Murali said.

    © AAP 2017
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