Clarke defends Lyon after ex-Oz spinner MacGill’s ‘bowling too fast’ rant

Sydney: Australia captain Michael Clarke has defended Nathan Lyon after the off-spinner was subjected to a Twitter taunt from former Test leggie Stuart MacGill, who accused him of bowling too fast in the first Test match in Hobart against Sri Lanka.

It was the second time in a month Lyon has struggled to capitalise on a spin-friendly wicket, as he had captured just one wicket on the final day as South Africa dug in to save the second Test in Adelaide.

There is a sentiment Lyon needs to develop more variety with the tempo of his deliveries, with former Test skipper Mark Taylor suggesting the tweaker bowled too fast in Hobart.

It was a critique noted by MacGill during the final day of the Hobart Test, prompting him to tweet: “Australia don`t need to find another fast bowler ... Nathan Lyon is bowling fast enough to do the job.”

But Clarke defended Lyon`s match return of 2-133 against the Sri Lankans, saying the tweaker played a key holding role and built pressure by bowling 12 maidens from 32 overs in the tourists`` second innings.

“All our bowlers deserve a lot of credit. Starc was outstanding, Watto did a magnificent job and so did Nathan Lyon,” quoted Clarke, as saying.

While Lyon has come under fire for failing to clean-up South Africa and Sri Lanka, his Test record shows he has the ability to take fourth-innings scalps.

Of Lyon’s 56 Test victims, 12 have come in the final innings at 30.75, headlined by his 3-19 against New Zealand in Brisbane, 4-63 against India in Adelaide and 3-87 against the West Indies in Dominica in April.