Xavier Doherty is not a Test bowler, says Stuart MacGill

Stuart MacGill feels Xavier Doherty (above) may be in Australia’s top three short-form spinners however he doesn’t fit in the Test format and his first-class record supports the former’s argument © Getty Images

Melbourne: Mar 1, 2013

Australia’s newly-appointed spin mentor Stuart MacGill has warned the team against bringing in Xavier Doherty for the second Test as he feels the left-arm tweaker is “not a Test bowler” and the move would boomerang on the visitors.

“Xavier Doherty is a great guy, but he is not a Test bowler,” MacGill, who took 208 wickets in 47 Tests, told The Daily Telegraph.

“I’m sure he is awesome for the team dynamic and in the past five years I would say he has been in Australia’s top three short-form spinners. He is a fantastic short-form bowler, but I don’t think Xavier brings that to Test cricket and his first-class record supports my argument,” he said.

Macgill said Nathan Lyon, who took four for 244 in the lost opening Test, should be paired with all-rounder Glenn Maxwell, the only million-dollar buy of this year’s IPL players’ auction, in the second Test starting in Hyderabad tomorrow.

“In India right now, we can pick Nathan Lyon and Glenn Maxwell. I wasn’t convinced about Maxwell but after watching the one-day games in the UAE (last August), he thinks he belongs at this level, he is working his butt off, so let’s give him a go,” he said.

MacGill defended Lyon despite the fact that he was expensive in the opening Test.

“I am going to ring Nathan before this next Test and have a chat to him. He should be incredibly flattered that India went after him. He was attacked ferociously, but the only reason that they would do that is to try and mess with him,” MacGill said.

“If they care enough about you to mess with you, that means they think you’re a threat and they think you are a good bowler,” he reasoned.

“Nathan Lyon got three wickets in the first innings. You only need 10. I would be looking at the shortcomings of the batsmen and the rest of the attack before I look at Nathan.

“I’ve spoken to Nathan before about this … when things become tough, he has a tendency to bowl too fast and too straight. But in the first Test he bowled well, the ball he bowled [Sachin] Tendulkar with was superb and he also got [Virat] Kohli,” he added.

Macgill maintained that Lyon would be crucial to Australia’s chances of a comeback in the four-match series.

“The way India batted to him proved to me that they think he’s OK. They are trying to upset him and hit him out of the attack. He is being targeted because they reckon he can bowl and so do I,” he said.