Sport

Michael Clarke backs Nathan Lyon

Nathan Lyon
Nathan Lyon Getty Images

DESPITE copping a first Test flogging, Australia's captain Michael Clarke will exercise patience before deciding on whether to play a second spinner in the second Test against India in Hyderabad, starting on Saturday.

The Australians played just off-spinner Nathan Lyon on a raging turner in Chennai, going on to lose by eight wickets, while India claimed all 20 of its wickets through spin.

Waiting in the wings to assist Lyon is Tasmanian Xavier Doherty - Lyon bowled 52.3 overs for a modest 4-244 in the first Test.

Paceman Mitchell Starc (0-75) did not cause the hosts too much trouble, and his spot in the side is in jeopardy.

This has left Clarke, also a co-selector, with some headaches on the make-up of this final 11.

"Australian spin took three wickets in the first innings, fast bowling took a lot more," he said.

"That doesn't mean to say that playing three fast bowlers and a medium-pace all-rounder, we got that right.

"We need to assess, we need to look at conditions again and work out what we think is the best 11."

A look at this season's four-day domestic statistics presents a case to say New South Wales tweaker Stephen O'Keefe should be the next man in line.

The left-arm finger spinner was not picked to tour, despite taking 17 Sheffield Shield wickets this summer - the same number as Nathan Lyon, Steve Smith, Glenn Maxwell and Doherty (the four spinners in India) combined.

But Clarke denied there was a selection issue

."You can talk about selection as much as you like but the 11 players you select have got to perform better," he said.

"We are not India. We are a different team, we have different fast bowlers to the Indian fast bowlers and we have different spinners to the Indian spinners."

Indian spinner Ravichandran Ashwin - who claimed match figures of 12-198 - finished well ahead of Lyon in Chennai.But Clarke stood by the besieged South Australian representative.

"He's got to stay positive. He bowled plenty of overs so he has seen the conditions a lot more. He got a couple of really big wickets for us," he said.

"Like all of our attack, I thought he bowled really well in patches. We've just got to keep working on that consistency."

Topics:  cricket, india cricket team, michael clarke, nathan lyon


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