India erred by not picking a specialist spinner for Perth Test: Michael Clarke
Hanuma Vihari's spin accounted for two wickets in Perth. © AFP

Michael Clarke, the former Australia captain, believes that on the evidence of the opening day’s play in Perth, Virat Kohli’s Indian team have erred in not playing a specialist spinner for the second Test.

On an up-and-down pitch at Optus Stadium – hosting its first Test match – India’s four-pronged pace attack managed four wickets with the big scalps of Marcus Harris (70) and Shaun Marsh (45) going to Hanuma Vihari. In his second Test, Vihari bowled 14 overs of offspin on Friday and dismissed Harris with a ball that got big on the batsman could only fend it to slip.

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After tea, Marsh was hurried into a cut shot and edged to slip. Seeing Vihari take two wickets on day one, Clarke was moved to wonder why India did not pick Ravindra Jadeja in place of the injured R Ashwin.

“Watching him [Vihari] take wickets, I have no doubt that India missed a trick by not playing a spinner,” said Clarke on a post-play show. “I think Ravindra Jadeja would have taken wickets, and seeing the wicket I think Nathan Lyon is going to have a big role.”

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Clarke’s former team-mate Michael Hussey concurred. “Having someone like Ashwin would have been nice … I know they had Jadeja for this Test [as an option] … to keep it tight and rotate the fast bowlers. I think Lyon will have a big role to play,” he said on air after stumps.

Lyon claimed seven wickets at Optus Stadium during a Sheffield Shield match earlier this month, including four in the second innings, and after the win for New South Wales he spoke of how excited he was to return to play India.