Melbourne: Indian skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni may not be all that satisfied with the level of umpiring in the ongoing cricket Test series but Australia off-spinner Nathan Lyon feels the officials are doing a "pretty good job".
India were at the receiving end of at least five contentious calls in the first two Tests, both of which the visitors lost, prompting Dhoni to state that umpiring could certainly improve. But Lyon defended the officials, saying, "I personally think they've done a pretty good job."
Nathan Lyon (C) celebrates wicket of Shikhar Dhawan (L) with team mates. Pic/ PTI
"I know it's been quite tough for them, especially in Adelaide. That wicket was a pretty tough wicket. They've made some big decisions. Some have gone against India, some have gone against Australia.
"It's a tough job to do. It's something I wouldn't like to do," he was quoted as saying by the media here. Lyon called on both the teams to keep their emotions in check during the third Test starting Friday after tempers flared up during the second Test in Brisbane. Lyon, however, refuted suggestions that absence of the controversial Decision Review System contributed to the tensions due to umpiring bloopers.
"It's going to swing both ways. We could have had a different result in Adelaide (in the first Test) if we had DRS but in saying that it could have went our way again. Both teams have to agree to use it. "I know I'm definitely not against DRS. I think it's good for the game. I don't have any problem with it but both teams have to agree to use it."
Lyon said a couple of bad umpiring calls should not be a provocation for on-field spats. "You're going to have to control your emotions out there. We know in Adelaide some emotions were flying quite high when a couple of decisions weren't going either way," he said. "But that's Test match cricket. There's enough emotions out there in the middle. We just have to keep patient and keep working hard and not worry about what the umpire says," he added.
It was in these circumstances that Australia needed to chase 130 runs on a difficult Gabba wicket and they made heavy weather of it, getting stuck at 122/6 at one stage. It puts the onus on both Shane Watson and Brad Haddin to score some runs, the duo having done nothing of note with the bat so far in the series.
"Shane is a world-class batsman and I can guarantee that he's being positive in his thinking. Not only that, a lot of credit for the win in the Brisbane Test goes to him. We talk of bowling in partnerships but a lot of people don't see it that way," said Lyon. "He got one wicket in the first innings and none in the second innings, but the way he held together one end there and created pressure allowed us to take wickets from the other end. I'm pretty sure he can bowl a lot worse than that and come out and take five-for," he added.
Haddin, meanwhile, has received support from both skipper Steve Smith and coach Darren Lehmann. Lyon only added to what has been said earlier about the 37-year-old wicket-keeper. "Everyone thinks Brad is under pressure but he can come out and score runs easily. He is his normal self at the moment and he is a great leader. I am sure he'll be able to get some runs when we need him too. "He hasn't had the best run of luck in this Test series, but if you look back at the last series here in Australia he saved us in every Test match," said Lyon referring to the Ashes which Australia won.
Finally, despite leading very well in his first Test in-charge, there is already a sword hanging over young captain Smith. He was fined for slow over-rate and another such instance could see him getting a one-match suspension. Australia will have to be on the money with their over-rates in Melbourne. "It means more overs for the spinner and that's me," Lyon signed off.