AAP: He’s apparently no closer to deciding which one will play in Wednesday’s first Test against Sri Lanka but captain Michael Clarke has been impressed by his spin duo Michael Beer and Nathan Lyon.
While Clarke skippered Beer during the West Australian’s sole Test appearance in Sydney in January, the three-day tour match in Colombo last week was the skipper’s first real chance to work with Lyon.
And he feels he’s now got a tough call to make if Australia make the likely decision to only go into the opening Test in Galle with just one spin bowler.
“I thought they both bowled really well in patches,” Clarke said of the pair’s bowling in the tour match, which ended in a draw on Saturday.
“They’re completely different bowlers.
“Obviously Nathan Lyon probably bowls with a lot more loop and gets a lot more shape. Michael Beer bowls a bit faster and gets it into the wicket so they’ve both got strengths.
“I thought Beery bowled really well … when it started to spin a bit, especially to the left hander, he could throw it into the rough. As we saw, a few balls went through the gate.
“I’m impressed with both of them. As a combination I think they’re very good together because they’re two completely different bowlers.”
The other bowler to make an impression on Clarke at the P Sara Oval was NSW medium-pacer Trent Copeland, who claimed six wickets against the Sri Lanka Board XI including several players likely to feature for the hosts in the Test series.
And Clarke said Copeland’s pace, or more accurately his lack of it, could actually prove to be a massive weapon in sub-continental conditions.
“It’s a huge string to his bow to be honest and I think for the team, it’s nearly like, and I say this with the ultimate respect, it’s nearly like his lack of pace could be a really good thing for us,” Clarke said.
“He just nibbles and just wobbles the ball enough that it doesn’t come onto the bat like Sidds (Peter Siddle), Ryno (Ryan Harris), Mitch (Johnson) who are bowling 140 kilometres an hour, kiss the wicket and come on quite quick.
“There’s just enough nibble there.”
Australia will hold their first training run at the Galle International Stadium on Monday after arriving in the southern seaside city on Sunday.
The team holds another training run at the venue on Tuesday before the Test series gets underway from 10am local time (1430 AEST) on Wednesday.