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Surprised with magnitude of criticism, Lyon defends Starc


ANI Cricket
Australia spinner Nathan Lyon defended team-mate and pace spearhead Mitchell Starc, who has come under fire from a number of former cricketers for his performance, labelling criticism as "unfair."
"I am a little surprised with the magnitude of the criticism that has come to him. I do not understand all the criticism, to be honest. Mitch is one of my best mates and I back him to the hilt. As I have said in press conferences before, if you want to take my gear and go face him in the nets, go for it," ICC quoted Lyon, as saying ahead of the second Test against Sri Lanka.
"He is bowling fast, he is moving it and he had the ball reversing in the nets. Mitch is a good fella and an x-factor. He has got all of my support and that whole changing room's support so it is pretty unfair criticism in my eyes," he said.
Starc had collected 15 wickets in five Tests during the four-match series against India and the opening game against Sri Lanka last week.
The speedster, who entered his 50th Test one shy of the personal milestone, scalped the wicket of Sri Lanka's Suranga Lakmal in the first innings, which saw him reach the landmark of 200 Test wickets and becoming the 17th Australian to do so.
"He has got 200 Test wickets so if anyone can get 200 Test wickets you must know what you are doing and you must be confident. I back Mitchell to come out and play a massive role in every game he comes out to play in for Australia. So I am looking forward to watching him this week and hopefully bowling really well with him in partnerships because that is the biggest key," Lyon said.
Last year, Indian skipper Virat Kohli had also come to defend the paceman after India's 2-1 Test series victory over Australia. "He has been your number one bowler for years now."
Australia and Sri Lanka are scheduled to lock horns for the second and final Test at Canberra on February 1.

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First Published: Jan 30 2019 | 9:32 PM IST

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