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Mallett backs under-fire Lyon

Press Trust Of India
Jan 09, 2012 at 01:16pm IST

Perth: Former spinner Ashley Mallett is hardly impressed with the way Nathan Lyon has bowled in the first two Tests but suggested that Australia must keep him in the side for the Perth Test.

Lyon has managed to take just two wickets in the four Indian innings so far.

Mallett stressed that it was important to have Lyon in the side as he would have a crucial role in friendly conditions in Adelaide, so he needs to be prepared for the final Test.

Mallett backs under-fire Lyon

Lyon has managed to take just two wickets in the four Indian innings so far.

"The selectors have a bit of a dilemma. The way Lyon bowled in the first two Tests they'd probably be looking at four quicks and probably Michael Clarke bowling a few overs and perhaps Warner," Mallett, who played 38 Tests between 1968-1980, said.

"I think they've got to think about the Adelaide Test and keep Lyon in the loop. I'd like to see them stick with him but he hasn't bowled all that well," Mallett was quoted as saying by 'The Australian'.

Lyon had put up a commendable show before the series against India, taking 22 wickets in seven Tests at an impressive average of 24.59.

But against India he looked ordinary and Mallett felt that Lyon's strategy, specially with stock ball, is wrong in the ongoing series.

"The thing is that if you're coming from that (wide) angle, if you're landing just about outside off-stump, because of the angle the ball is going to miss leg stump and the Indians know that. So there are lots of free hits to the on-side.

"His strategy at the moment doesn't look right. He needs a bit of help. I don't know who he's talking to but whoever is talking to him is obviously not getting through.

"What I like about him is that he is following his own instincts and is getting the ball above the eyeline, but for his stock ball, he's operating far too wide of off-stump. It's just ridiculous," Mallett said.

With Pattinson now out of action for the remainder of the series, Australia may include either Ryan Harris or Mitchell Starc in Perth or both if Lyon is left out.

Mallett feels that Harris should get the call and not Starc.

"I think he's the best around," he said of Harris.

"He (Starc) is obviously potentially going to be OK, but I'd rather see them play Lyon, really, with a view to him doing a lot of work in the Adelaide Test. He needs to be bowling. You can't have him out for a week and then bring him in and expect him to bowl 35 overs," he added.

Mallett also praised Michael Clarke. For him, Clarke is the best captain the Aussies have had since Mark Taylor.

"I think his captaincy has been fantastic. To me he's the best captain we've had since Mark Taylor because he's proactive. He tries to make things happen and his field placings are great.

"And it's not just luck that things are happening because he's making things happen. His changes have been good," Mallett said.

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