Ind vs Aus 1st Test: Mitchell Starc is an X-factor for us, says Lyon

Ind vs Aus 1st Test:Australia spinner Nathan Lyon on Thursday praised “world-class” pacer Mitchell Starc and said the bowler is an X-factor for the hosts.

Starc looked a completely different character with the second new ball against India in the third session of the opening day of the day-night Test at Adelaide Oval as he finished with the best figures of the day — 2/49. Lyon also hailed debutant Cameron Green and backed him to do well in Test cricket as the all-rounder is a “serious talent”.

“Green is extremely impressive and that was the first time I saw him bowl. Starc said he is a serious talent and he seems to be an exceptional cricketer and a lovely fellow, I liked his company today,” Lyon said during a virtual press conference.

“Mitchell Starc speaks for himself, he is world-class and an X-factor. And it is exceptional the way he came back after a personal leave. I wouldn’t expect anything less from Mitch and I love playing cricket with him,” he added.

India skipper Virat Kohli and Pujara had stitched a 68-run stand before the Australian spinner sent Pujara back for the tenth time in Test cricket.

Lyon said both Indian batsmen have different batting styles and he enjoyed the challenge against them. “It was good fun, good conversations there but 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,” he said.

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Kohli was leading India from the front before a silly misunderstanding between him and deputy Rahane ended his stint at the crease as the former was run out. Minutes later, Mitchell Starc struck in the very first over with the second new ball, trapping Rahane in front as India lost the fifth wicket before putting 200 runs on the board. Lyon said the Australian camp was happy with the way things went in the third session on the opening day of the first Test.

“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,” said Lyon.

At stumps, India’s score read 233/6 with Saha (9) and R Ashwin (15) at the crease and the Australian bowlers looking to go for the kill.