Clarke backs Lyon over Warne

By David Beniuk,

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    Australian captain Michael Clarke has defended Nathan Lyon’s ability to make a difference on final day pitches after the spinner went wicketless in the second innings at Bellerive.

    Lyon finished with figures of 0-57, after taking 2-76 in Sri Lanka’s first dig, on a wearing pitch that played plenty of fourth innings tricks.

    He has been criticised by commentators for bowling too fast and appearing to rush through his overs.

    But Clarke said 12 maidens from his 32 second innings overs showed he was doing his job.

    “There’s always going to be a lot of pressure and expectation on Nathan because we’ve had so many spinners since Warney (Shane Warne),” Clarke said.

    “His results and statistics show that he’s doing a fantastic job for us.

    “He complements our attack really well and I think you’re going to see days where he comes out and takes five wickets and you’re going to see days where he can tie up an end and bowl plenty of dot balls to help the quicks take their wickets.

    “I don’t think we can have the expectation on any player to walk out and perform every single time.”

    The 25-year-old will have the chance to test himself on more spin-friendly decks in Melbourne and Sydney against the world’s leading wicket-taker in 2012, Rangana Herath.

    A bowler down for the second time this summer when Ben Hilfenhaus suffered a side strain, Australia this time had the fallback position of bowling allrounder Shane Watson for 27 second innings overs.

    It meant Peter Siddle wasn’t required to bowl himself into the ground as he did in Adelaide, subsequently missing the third Test against South Africa.

    Clarke said Siddle, who broke the Sri Lankan resistance on day five and took 9-104 for the match, had embraced the role of Australia’s pace spearhead.

    “I think he’s loved that opportunity to be our No.1 strike bowler,” Clarke said.

    “He really looks forward to the pressure situation.

    “If everyone has the heart that he has, we’ll definitely get back to being the No.1 Test team in the world.”

    © AAP 2018

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    The Crowd Says (8)

    • December 19th 2012 @ 7:26am
      Jason said | December 19th 2012 @ 7:26am | ! Report

      Imagine Clarke was injured and Warne came back, as captain, for one match only, at the G.

      You’d get 80,000 every day of the test. Hell, I’d fly to Melbourne to see it.

      • December 19th 2012 @ 7:41am
        Rhys said | December 19th 2012 @ 7:41am | ! Report

        Never mind about flying to Melbourne to see it. I’d be tuning in to every moment of Nine’s coverage to hear Bill Lawry go off big time!

    • December 19th 2012 @ 7:44am
      Red Kev said | December 19th 2012 @ 7:44am | ! Report

      Both radio and television (or as I like to call it the ‘picture wireless’) have been on and on at Lyon right from the Gabba test to slow his overs down, slow the ball down through the air.
      He whips through his overs as fast as he can which is great for ODIs and T20s but not conducive to bowling out sides in test cricket. Someone needs to be in his ear at training and again on the field constantly telling him to take a breath and think about how he’s going to set the batsman up for a wicket, how the next ball is going to land and how that fits into his over and spell overall.
      At the moment he looks like a guy just bowling overs to make up the numbers rather than a genuine spinning weapon. Clarke is a good captain for Lyon because he trusts and sets good attacking fields, but Lyon has to repay that faith with smarter bowling.

      • Roar Pro

        December 19th 2012 @ 8:45am
        boes said | December 19th 2012 @ 8:45am | ! Report

        There’s a bloke in Melbourne who used to be a pretty handy spinner. Perhaps he could have a chat to Lyon during the boxing day test instead of expelling hot air about a return to the test side.

    • December 19th 2012 @ 10:32am
      Sideline Commentator said | December 19th 2012 @ 10:32am | ! Report

      Boes makes a good point, why doesn’t Warne really have anything to do with the development of young Australian spinners? As the best Australian to ever turn a ball, he should be actively involved in passing on what he knows to a new generation of spinners, not out there floating the ridiculous idea of a ego fueled return.

    • December 19th 2012 @ 10:47am
      Disco said | December 19th 2012 @ 10:47am | ! Report

      Lyon’s Clarke’s pet, so he’d be backed over anyone.

    • December 19th 2012 @ 11:57am
      Robert said | December 19th 2012 @ 11:57am | ! Report

      Of course he’ll be backed over anyone,because there isnt an anyone.Come up with an alternative

      Comment left via The Roar’s iPhone app. Download it now [].

    • Roar Guru

      December 19th 2012 @ 3:28pm
      Andy_Roo said | December 19th 2012 @ 3:28pm | ! Report

      Lyon did nothing in the fourth innings in Adelaide and again nothing in the fourth innings in Hobart. It seems that when he is tired he loses his ability to spin the ball, maybe his fingers are sore and canot think tactically how to get a wicket.
      Clarke defends him by saing that he bowled a lot of maidens but the batsmen weren’t trying to score.
      I think Lyon is a good bowler but needs to work on his stamina, follow Daniel Vettori’s example and bowl 50 overs a day.

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