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Steven Smith defends his move of under-bowling Nathan Lyon on day 3 of the first Test

Shyam Sunder
2.61K   //    05 Nov 2016, 20:58 IST
Australia vs South Africa
Nathan Lyon was under-used on Day 3 of the WACA Test

The Australian cricket team are currently playing the South Africans in the first Test of the three-match Test series at WACA in Perth. The South Africans seem to be having the upper hand in the Test match as they ended day three of the match at 390 runs for the loss of 6 wickets with a lead of 388 runs. Aussie skipper Steven Smith defended his tactic of under-bowling Nathan Lyon in the second innings during the post-match conference.

Smith was criticized by former World Cup winning captain Michael Clarke for not using Lyon effectively for a longer duration in the second innings. The South African batsmen, who seemed to be off color in the first innings, came back strong the second time around. Dean Elgar and JP Duminy scored centuries and ensured that the match didn't get out of the Proteas' hands.

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Clarke, who is associated with the Channel 9 commentary team, went on air saying that he was quite surprised by Smith's action to not give Lyon enough overs in the second innings. He said, "With the amount of overs the fast bowlers have bowled, the fact that Lyon bowled really well in the first innings and picked up a couple of crucial wickets, and seeing spin work for South Africa in the first innings as well, I'm really surprised he hasn't bowled 20, 25 overs today."

"He could slow the game down, or quicken the game up and get through a few overs for the captain and the team. He could try over the wicket, around the wicket, just for variation," he added.

However, Aussie skipper Steven Smith seemed to disagree with Clarke's view and stated that the fact that all the four seamers were generating some serious pace and movement off the pitch was the chief reason for sticking with them. "The ball was reversing," the skipper said.

"I think reverse swing has been a pretty big player in this game for both sides and very uncharacteristic at the WACA. I think it’s the first time I’ve ever seen the ball reverse on this ground," he was quoted as saying by Cricket Australia.

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"But when the ball is reversing, it’s a tough one. You want to bowl the spin, but the way he (Lyon) holds the ball it can soften that side down and stop the ball from reversing," he said. The 27-year old justified his decision by saying that he didn't want to use Lyon in order to ensure that the pacers were able to make use of the reverse swing.

The South Africans currently have a lead of 388 runs with four wickets in hand. Since Dale Steyn is ruled out from the current match and the rest of the series, the Proteas will be looking to add as many runs as possible in the fourth day in order to let their bowlers have a go at the Aussie batsmen in their second innings.

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