Ashes 2013: Simon Kerrigan England criticism 'off the mark'

Simon Kerrigan

Lancashire captain Glen Chapple has defended team-mate Simon Kerrigan after criticism of his England debut.

The Preston-born spinner conceded 53 runs in eight overs on day one of the fifth Test and did not feature on the second day as Australia reached 492-9.

Kerrigan, 24, has taken 47 Championship wickets for Lancashire this summer.

"He would have liked to have bowled better but some of the comments that have come out are just way off the mark," said Chapple.

"All that has happened is he's had one bad spell. Some of the comments have been ill-founded. They've no idea about the player himself."

England bowling coach David Saker has defended the selection of Kerrigan and fellow debutant Chris Woakes as they shared just one wicket between them in Australia's first innings.

Kerrigan, who had not previously represented England in any form of international cricket, was handed a surprise call-up in a five-man attack after taking 47 wickets at an average of 20.23 for Lancashire this season.

He went for 28 runs in his first two overs and appeared to be struck by nerves at The Oval.

"Shane Warne himself said after two or three Tests that his average was in the 300's or something and I remember watching him bowl and he didn't land it in his first few Tests," Chapple told BBC Radio Lancashire.

"At the end of the day he [Kerrigan] is still a tremendous prospect and he should be allowed to feel as comfortable as possible."

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