Australian skipper Michael Clarke is ready to help Nathan Lyon in the spinning duties against India.SYDNEY – Australia captain Michael Clarke is convinced that spin will play a big factor in the second Test and is prepared to inject himself into the bowling and relive Indian nightmares if things get tight.
Nanjing Night Net

When Australia last played India in Sydney in 2008, Clarke was thrown into the attack in the dying overs of the match and took three wickets in five balls to clinch a remarkable win for Ricky Ponting’s team.

Despite his pesky left-arm orthodox deliveries yielding 23 wickets at 37.47, making him a more than adequate part-timer, Clarke rolled the arm over just three times in 2011.

The skipper has suffered from chronic back problems throughout his career and bowled a combined total of just 15 overs last year.

But after backing full-time turner Nathan Lyon to play a huge role in the second Test starting today at the SCG, Clarke declared he was ready to chip in on the final days.

“We’ll wait and see how the wicket deteriorates as well . . . if required I’d be more than happy to bowl – I’ve always enjoyed bowling,” Clarke said.

“I haven’t done much of it in recent times but that’s because our bowlers have done their job, so if required and if the wicket does spin Nathan Lyon will play a big part and I can bowl a few overs for sure.”

Clarke made no changes to personnel after the convincing win in Melbourne, declining to call up recovered pace weapon Ryan Harris as he puts his faith in spin being vital as the match goes on.

Lyon has made a brilliant start to his Test career but struggled in Melbourne, taking just one wicket in the second innings.

“This series is a tough challenge for Lyono because India are such good players of spin bowling,” Clarke said.

“I thought he did a pretty good job without getting as many wickets as he would have liked in the last Test.

“I don’t want to put too much pressure on (him). I love the way he goes about his work.”

Clarke said he was privileged to be leading out the Australian side on his home ground as the SCG joins the MCG and Lord’s as the only venues in world cricket to host 100 Test matches.

Australia has been plagued by inconsistency over the past 12 months and Clarke said the team was focused on putting together strong back-to-back performances.

“We’ve played some really positive cricket at times and some cricket we’d like to forget, and I guess this is another test of our character, to be able to back up after such an impressive win in Melbourne,” he said.

SCG curator Tom Parker denied accusations from the Indian media that the pitch had been tailored to suit Australia’s in-form pace attack.

Parker believes spin will still play a part and said the wicket was no different from the one rolled out for the Ashes Test last January.

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