Australian off-spinner Nathan Lyon has heaped praise on teammate Mitchell Starc, after his performance with the ball on Day 1 of the first Test between India and Australia. Lyon described Starc as world-class and mentioned that the player is an X-factor for the hosts with the ball.
"Mitchell Starc speaks for himself, he is world-class and an X-factor," Lyon said during a virtual press conference.
Lyon called Starc's performance after coming back from a personal leave as 'exceptional'. He also mentioned that he expects nothing less from the left-arm bowler.
"And it is exceptional the way he came back after a personal leave. I wouldn't expect anything less from Mitch (Mitchell Starc) and I love playing cricket with him," Lyon added.
Mitchell Starc picked up two key Indian wickets on Day 1 of the 1st Test
Mitchell Starc got rid of Indian opener Prithvi Shaw off just the second ball of the day. He then came back late in the day to send back a confident-looking Ajinkya Rahane with the second new ball.
Lyon also mentioned that he was impressed with Cameron Green, and that Mitchell Starc considers him a 'serious talent'.
"Green is extremely impressive and that was the first time I saw him bowl. (Mitchell) Starc said he is a serious talent and he seems to be an exceptional and a lovely fellow, I liked his company today," said Lyon.
Lyon said it was challenging to bowl against Cheteshwar Pujara and Virat Kohli during the middle phase of the match. However, he added that he is a person who is always up for a challenge against the best batsmen in the world.
"It was good fun, good conversations there but the battle there is against the best players in the world. On a day-one wicket, it was a great challenge. They (Kohli and Pujara) are different in style and approach, batting against spin bowling. I am always up for the challenge against the best batsmen," said Lyon.
Kohli formed a crucial partnership with Ajinkya Rahane for the visitors but was run-out by Josh Hazlewood after a mix-up off Nathan Lyon's bowling. Mitchell Starc then bowled a nip-backer that got the Indian vice-captain out to bring the hosts right back on top of the contest.
Lyon stated the Australian camp was happy with how things had gone so far but still feels they can get a lot better.
"It was definitely satisfying, but we can get a lot better. We are very happy with where we are at but can keep pushing the boundaries and keep getting better as a bowling unit. We are happy, but still a lot of work to do," Lyon concluded.Published 17 Dec 2020, 23:49 IST