Robertson: Lyon and O’Keefe are the future

Former Australia spinner Gavin Robertson has urged critics to lay off Nathan Lyon and Steve O’Keefe, after the pair were targeted by Pakistan’s batsmen in the first Test in Dubai.

While both spinners took two wickets, they accounted for the bulk of Pakistan’s 454 runs, with the pacemen sending down mostly maidens. But Robertson, who played four Tests and 13 ODIs for the Aussies, was sympathetic.

He said in his ‘Robbo’s Rant’ column on Sports Fan: “Nathan Lyon has figures that add up to being one of the best off-spin bowlers of the last 40 years, at the least the top two.

“He’s equal to Ashley Mallett, as good as Colin Miller and better than Nathan Hauritz and they all have very good figures.

“He has better figures than Tim May, who we will say is probably our greatest ever off-spinner.

“I think you’ll find these two boys will to a job for us over the next five, six, or even seven years when we need two spinners.

“Back in Australia we won’t need two spinners, but in parts of the world we will and right now we have a very, very good option.”