Australia v Sri Lanka 2010-11 October 26, 2010

Xavier Doherty handed World Cup audition

29

Xavier Doherty will make his ODI debut at the MCG next Wednesday, while Victorians recover from Tuesday's Melbourne Cup festivities, but the only winning ticket he's interested in is one to the World Cup. Doherty is the latest spinner to be called into Australia's side and the chairman of selectors, Andrew Hilditch, believes he is the frontrunner to partner Nathan Hauritz at the World Cup.

Doherty celebrated his call-up with 5 for 83 in Tasmania's Sheffield Shield match against Victoria at the MCG. The stands were all but empty and it will be a vastly different experience in front of up to 40,000 people next week against a Sri Lankan side adept at handling spin bowling, but Doherty's success was a good sign all the same.

"It's been one of the better days in my cricketing life," Doherty said. "I was on a high after getting the news last night. Coming here today I had a bit to live up to and luckily things went my way today, so it was pretty pleasing.

"A little confidence boost like that never goes astray. It's good news to get going into a Shield game. I was pretty nervous going into this Shield game. I hadn't bowled in a four-day game for six months, so I was quite nervous, which is a bit unusual for me, so it definitely helped."

He hasn't played a lot of first-class cricket in recent seasons, but it's hard to believe Doherty has been overlooked for so long in the shorter formats. Last summer he was the leading wicket taker in the FR Cup with 20 victims and it was merely the latest in a string of strong one-day campaigns. He will arrive on the international scene at the age of 27, and believes it is the perfect time to make his international mark.

"Spin bowlers are very different," Doherty said. "You get batsmen who are 21 and fast bowlers that are 18 or 19 can come in to this system, but for spin bowlers it's always going to take a bit of time. Some guys will pop up at 20 and go missing and then come back in to it. I think it's pretty perfect timing for me, because it's allowed me to play 80 games for Tasmania and be in a lot of different situations and gain a lot of experience."

A left-arm orthodox bowler, Doherty is not a vicious turner of the ball but has thrived in the shorter formats, where he troubles batsmen with his clever changes of pace. Tasmania have enjoyed one-day success by using Doherty in tandem with Jason Krejza, and he said the arrival of Krejza in Hobart four seasons ago had given him a serious jolt.

"It was a bit of a kick up the bum when he came down to Tasmania, because I was the main spinner and all of a sudden I was straight out of there," Doherty said. "Having that competition for the spot has definitely made me a better cricketer."

It must have been good for both men, as they have each received approval from the national selectors since Krejza's move. Doherty could get a few more calls judging by the words of Hilditch, who said Australia would aim to take two spinners to the World Cup and a left-armer would be ideal.

"That would be pretty exciting to hear but there's a lot of water to go under the bridge between now and then," Doherty said. "That's late February, so there's quite a bit of cricket going on now. If that opportunity pops up that would be great, but it's a long way away."

Brydon Coverdale is an assistant editor at Cricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Deepakskipper on October 29, 2010, 7:08 GMT

    Xavier, 'X' as he is fondly called, has been one man whom I always believed will make the cut of Aussie OD atleast. The call is indeed a much due one in my eyes. He has been a consistent contributor towards Tigers successful campaign in last year FR cup and the season prvs to that too he was the highest wicket taker in ODD league. Have infact spend some time with him when he was playing in Dutch league 2 seasons back and the guy is awesome, be it with his wily quicker ones or his occassional flighted ones which get subtle drfit. Infact once playing in Dutch ODD league, in the semis, the opposition needed 2 runs to win in last over with 3 wkts left. His sequence in last over read .,1,w,w,w and buoy he was as cool as it gets during those 5 deliveries. He is a devoted cricketer, who works damn hard on his skills and is a superb person to boot. Good Luck 'X' and hoping to see you in India in this world cup Aussie squad..../Deepak

  • on October 28, 2010, 17:57 GMT

    Judging by the way he bowled against Victoria gives us an impression that he could be a good prospect for the Australian cricket team in the near future . A left arm tweaker besides being a decent batsman not only adds to the stability of the team but also brings in variety.But we will have to wait and watch his performance against srilanka in the forthcoming series should he picked ahead of Steven Smith .

  • stuartk319 on October 27, 2010, 9:24 GMT

    Those having a shot at Doherty clearly haven't watched him bowl in Australia's domestic one day competition. He's been clearly the best spinner there for 3 seasons and deserves his call-up. Save the shots for the selectors for giving so many spinners 0-3 games and then dumping them.

  • soorajiyer on October 27, 2010, 2:58 GMT

    I've always wondered why this guy has not been taken before! Clever change of pace and flight.. Very good ODI bowler..

  • Stevie_Lematt on October 27, 2010, 2:41 GMT

    Victorian-Roo: maybe the selectors should replace Hilfenhaus with Denton and Paine with Wade...oh hang on a minute they're Tasmanians too!! Honestly, Victorian-Roo, how many Victorians have represented Australia over the years? Compare that to the number of Tasmanians and I think you'll find you're way ahead! Victoria may be the sporting capital of the world, but if your cricketers aren't good enough at the moment, well....that's just how it is, get over it! Doesn't matter *where* they come from, if they're good enough, give'em a go. If I was a Victorian I'd be embarrassed by your comments

  • TimmyF_23 on October 27, 2010, 1:26 GMT

    Good too see him get a call up. His the best limited overs spinner in domestic cricket and has been the last 2 years. All you guys like @Sai Prasad commenting on his first class record, he hasnt been picked for test matches so i have no idea why you are referring to that record. He has been selected for limited overs formats and if you bother to look at that record, its really good and you will see why he has been selected.

  • Dashgar on October 27, 2010, 0:29 GMT

    people who are looking at Dohertys stats and questioning his first class average need to understand that he hasn't played much first class cricket over the last few years when he has been bowling at his best. You can't pick a team based on stats alone, you pick a team on performance. Doherty has been the best limited overs spinner in Australia for a while and he just got a first class five for against a very strong Victorian side (Ben Hilfenhaus couldn't manage 1 wicket). He deserves this promotion, good luck to him.

  • gimc_tas on October 26, 2010, 23:39 GMT

    Doherty has been selected for ODIs, not Tests. For List A matches (limited overs), he has 103 wkts at 28.91 (rpo: 4.6). This season (in Ryobi Cup) he has 7 wkts at 12.42 (rpo: 3.48). Last year in Ford Ranger Cup, he topped the wkt table with 20 wkts at 20.35 (rpo: 4.56). He deserves selection.

    Last year, after a poor Krejza Sheffield Shield season, he played the last 3 Shield matches taking 12 wkts at 24.25. Perhaps he should be considered for Tests - he would be guaranteed the wkt of Kevin Pietersen!

  • Meety on October 26, 2010, 23:01 GMT

    @Alex Mikaelian - interesting selections, although I would not go with Marsh, I think he is overrated, I would partner Watson with either Haddin or White. I was assuming you weren't talking about Mitchell Marsh, who I would like to see get a go. Also I would select Brett Lee for ODI duties for several reasons; 1. He was (& maybe still is), the best strike bowler in the History of ODIs, 2. Having Lee playing would take the pressure of the bowling rotation & save our best bowlers for Test duties - look at our injury list - Siddle, Harris, Hazlewood, Bollinger & Bracken. @Gilly4ever - no way! Hauritz will do well this series, but Doherty would be too big a gamble, besides Krezja deserves the next shot, & I would even consider the One Test Disaster from VIC who bowls leg spin before Doherty for this series. I am excited by Doherty's ODI selection though.

  • Meety on October 26, 2010, 22:53 GMT

    @contrast_swing - he has been selected for an ODI - not a Test match, first class statistics mean nothing in this case, plenty examples of good ODI bowlers who weren't good at Test/First class level, Peter Taylor & Hogg to name a few. @cricketaddict000 - I am glad Doherty has gotten a go, but O'Keefe has better potential, I don't know how O'Keefe will turn out as a First Class or Test cricketer - but he is massively suited to Limited Over cricket & should be in 20/20 & 50/50 squads. @Krik.lover - Hauritz was always going to cop it in the post Warne/MacGill era, however I think by and large he has done well for Australia, particularly in ODIs. I agree though it is exciting to see some blooding by the selectors. @SeaforthA1 - agreed 100%. @Sameer Umralkar - agreed 100%. @Victorian Roo - LOL! The original T20 squad selected contained only Vics & NSW, so I have no problems with a Tassie guy getting a go - they have performed well domestically for a while now.

  • Deepakskipper on October 29, 2010, 7:08 GMT

    Xavier, 'X' as he is fondly called, has been one man whom I always believed will make the cut of Aussie OD atleast. The call is indeed a much due one in my eyes. He has been a consistent contributor towards Tigers successful campaign in last year FR cup and the season prvs to that too he was the highest wicket taker in ODD league. Have infact spend some time with him when he was playing in Dutch league 2 seasons back and the guy is awesome, be it with his wily quicker ones or his occassional flighted ones which get subtle drfit. Infact once playing in Dutch ODD league, in the semis, the opposition needed 2 runs to win in last over with 3 wkts left. His sequence in last over read .,1,w,w,w and buoy he was as cool as it gets during those 5 deliveries. He is a devoted cricketer, who works damn hard on his skills and is a superb person to boot. Good Luck 'X' and hoping to see you in India in this world cup Aussie squad..../Deepak

  • on October 28, 2010, 17:57 GMT

    Judging by the way he bowled against Victoria gives us an impression that he could be a good prospect for the Australian cricket team in the near future . A left arm tweaker besides being a decent batsman not only adds to the stability of the team but also brings in variety.But we will have to wait and watch his performance against srilanka in the forthcoming series should he picked ahead of Steven Smith .

  • stuartk319 on October 27, 2010, 9:24 GMT

    Those having a shot at Doherty clearly haven't watched him bowl in Australia's domestic one day competition. He's been clearly the best spinner there for 3 seasons and deserves his call-up. Save the shots for the selectors for giving so many spinners 0-3 games and then dumping them.

  • soorajiyer on October 27, 2010, 2:58 GMT

    I've always wondered why this guy has not been taken before! Clever change of pace and flight.. Very good ODI bowler..

  • Stevie_Lematt on October 27, 2010, 2:41 GMT

    Victorian-Roo: maybe the selectors should replace Hilfenhaus with Denton and Paine with Wade...oh hang on a minute they're Tasmanians too!! Honestly, Victorian-Roo, how many Victorians have represented Australia over the years? Compare that to the number of Tasmanians and I think you'll find you're way ahead! Victoria may be the sporting capital of the world, but if your cricketers aren't good enough at the moment, well....that's just how it is, get over it! Doesn't matter *where* they come from, if they're good enough, give'em a go. If I was a Victorian I'd be embarrassed by your comments

  • TimmyF_23 on October 27, 2010, 1:26 GMT

    Good too see him get a call up. His the best limited overs spinner in domestic cricket and has been the last 2 years. All you guys like @Sai Prasad commenting on his first class record, he hasnt been picked for test matches so i have no idea why you are referring to that record. He has been selected for limited overs formats and if you bother to look at that record, its really good and you will see why he has been selected.

  • Dashgar on October 27, 2010, 0:29 GMT

    people who are looking at Dohertys stats and questioning his first class average need to understand that he hasn't played much first class cricket over the last few years when he has been bowling at his best. You can't pick a team based on stats alone, you pick a team on performance. Doherty has been the best limited overs spinner in Australia for a while and he just got a first class five for against a very strong Victorian side (Ben Hilfenhaus couldn't manage 1 wicket). He deserves this promotion, good luck to him.

  • gimc_tas on October 26, 2010, 23:39 GMT

    Doherty has been selected for ODIs, not Tests. For List A matches (limited overs), he has 103 wkts at 28.91 (rpo: 4.6). This season (in Ryobi Cup) he has 7 wkts at 12.42 (rpo: 3.48). Last year in Ford Ranger Cup, he topped the wkt table with 20 wkts at 20.35 (rpo: 4.56). He deserves selection.

    Last year, after a poor Krejza Sheffield Shield season, he played the last 3 Shield matches taking 12 wkts at 24.25. Perhaps he should be considered for Tests - he would be guaranteed the wkt of Kevin Pietersen!

  • Meety on October 26, 2010, 23:01 GMT

    @Alex Mikaelian - interesting selections, although I would not go with Marsh, I think he is overrated, I would partner Watson with either Haddin or White. I was assuming you weren't talking about Mitchell Marsh, who I would like to see get a go. Also I would select Brett Lee for ODI duties for several reasons; 1. He was (& maybe still is), the best strike bowler in the History of ODIs, 2. Having Lee playing would take the pressure of the bowling rotation & save our best bowlers for Test duties - look at our injury list - Siddle, Harris, Hazlewood, Bollinger & Bracken. @Gilly4ever - no way! Hauritz will do well this series, but Doherty would be too big a gamble, besides Krezja deserves the next shot, & I would even consider the One Test Disaster from VIC who bowls leg spin before Doherty for this series. I am excited by Doherty's ODI selection though.

  • Meety on October 26, 2010, 22:53 GMT

    @contrast_swing - he has been selected for an ODI - not a Test match, first class statistics mean nothing in this case, plenty examples of good ODI bowlers who weren't good at Test/First class level, Peter Taylor & Hogg to name a few. @cricketaddict000 - I am glad Doherty has gotten a go, but O'Keefe has better potential, I don't know how O'Keefe will turn out as a First Class or Test cricketer - but he is massively suited to Limited Over cricket & should be in 20/20 & 50/50 squads. @Krik.lover - Hauritz was always going to cop it in the post Warne/MacGill era, however I think by and large he has done well for Australia, particularly in ODIs. I agree though it is exciting to see some blooding by the selectors. @SeaforthA1 - agreed 100%. @Sameer Umralkar - agreed 100%. @Victorian Roo - LOL! The original T20 squad selected contained only Vics & NSW, so I have no problems with a Tassie guy getting a go - they have performed well domestically for a while now.

  • on October 26, 2010, 21:22 GMT

    Doherty is an outstanding Limited Overs spinner. Controls his flight, watches the batsmen coming out of the crease and can leave them hanging, varies his pace well too. When Haddin, Tait and Harris comes back...

    ODI - Marsh / Watson / Ponting / Clarke / White / Ferguson / Haddin / Doherty or Hopes / Johnson / Harris / Tait

    T20 - Warner / Watson / D Hussey / Clarke / White / Birt or Finch / Haddin / Doherty or Hopes / Nannes / Harris / Tait

    That way, there are specialists who prefer the limited overs format. Warner, D Hussey, Nannes, Birt and Finch are all T20 specialized, while Ferguson and Marsh have the all-round stylish strokeplay for the ODI arena.

  • on October 26, 2010, 18:15 GMT

    Are you kidding me? This guy averages 51 in FC. Hauritz is way better! Steven Smith is a better option.

  • PottedLambShanks on October 26, 2010, 16:55 GMT

    Clever changes of pace? Chucker?

  • A_J.. on October 26, 2010, 16:12 GMT

    Doherty deserves a place in d Aussie squad, since d tym, Warne, McGill left d team... he's a match-winner spinner, whether wt d records say abt him... & also, 'ts a gud oppurtunity 4 Xavier, 2 show his talent, againest d Lankans, s d pacers will make n easy way 4 him; b'coz Facing d mighty Aussie pace Attack is a difficult task, 4 d "CHAMPION" Record-holding Sri Lankan Batsmen.................

  • Victorian-Roo on October 26, 2010, 15:33 GMT

    Jeezz....another Tasmanian...what happened to folks from the rest of the country. Besides Doherty averages almost 52 in Tests....you judge a man on the streets of the opponents but this guy has been smacked in his own backyard. Please don't give false hopes to youngsters....instead try creating a pace battery of 4 fast bowlers like the one the Windies had during the 80s. And for god's sake selectors must look beyond Tasmania. There are a lot of talented guys.....

  • Ozcricketwriter on October 26, 2010, 15:18 GMT

    Doherty should play in the Ashes *instead of* Hauritz.

  • srivatsan on October 26, 2010, 15:03 GMT

    @@Abbas,

    Not all spinners from Australia are bad. Brad Hogg was one hell of an ODI spinner who did well against India in India

  • on October 26, 2010, 12:49 GMT

    Oz were very lucky to have 3 good spinners at the same time.

    #1 - Warne, supported ably by #2 - MacGill (who was better of the two when they played together) and #3 - Brad Hogg, who did well in limited chances he got because of the presence of 1 & 2. unfortunately for Australia, these 3 were of the same age and had to retire one after the other. Now, having seen Aussie spinners getting hammered in India on all of their trips (tests), i have come to the conclusion that they are not really bad. its just that they are used to bowling on Australian wickets and have developed their bowling accordingly. Aussie wickets offer true bounce throughout and the spinners adapt to it. Hence they find it a tad difficult when they tour India, where the wickets are at times low and other times breaking, and offering variable bounce. Australia would do well to have Doherty, Smith, O'Keefe and Hauritz play as many ODIs as possible. and also get Clarke to bowl a lot more.

  • Proteas123 on October 26, 2010, 12:32 GMT

    @contrast_swing - His one day record is good. We'll see how he goes.

  • djfw666 on October 26, 2010, 11:58 GMT

    Good luck to the guy, he will be good in ODIs and Twenty20.

  • _Australian_ on October 26, 2010, 11:52 GMT

    O'Keefe should be picked ahead of Doherty. It really does feel like CA are clutching at straws trying every state spinner in the country looking for immediate success without giving other guys a decent go. It wont work. I think they should take Hauritz, Smith and O'Keefe. O'Keefe should be given a run now to get him used to ODI's because I see him as our future spinner with Smith.

  • LALITHKURUWITA on October 26, 2010, 11:43 GMT

    I need tough competitive cricket. I do not care who wins. I also need SL drums, SL music, SL songs & other SL entertainments at Sydney Cricket ground on 05-11-10. Please all SL supporters, come with wearing your SL Jersey, SL Cap, Banners, Flags and most importantly, The Sri Lankan Flag. Make SCG like your own ground in Sri Lanka. Also after the match please all gather outside the ground and play drums, sing and dance for 2 hours. We do not get this opportunity every year. ( Remember we did last time in 2008) Go Lions go go !!!!

  • D-Train on October 26, 2010, 11:38 GMT

    Although his career stats are poor over the last few seasons he's performed very well in the shorter format.

  • krik.lover on October 26, 2010, 11:31 GMT

    Nice Move, Its very boring to see only Hauritz as a spinner with his ordinary performances for a long....long..... time in aussie after the legends retirement........Give a chance to freshers

  • cricketaddict000 on October 26, 2010, 11:24 GMT

    About time. Doherty has been deserving of an international spot for the past few years. For once selectors got it right. He's the best we've got. If he gets smacked it means Aus really have no quality slow bowlers. Better and more experienced than O'keefe who only cemented his NSW spot last season.

  • contrast_swing on October 26, 2010, 11:17 GMT

    What?!! Come on, the guy has a first class average of 51.9 and a strike rate of 87. What makes you think that he will do any good against the Lankans?

  • David47 on October 26, 2010, 11:01 GMT

    Give him a go. Don't forget, we're trying to find a spinner here that will serve us well for the next 6 or 7 years (at least). Hauritz has had plenty of chances - the only test match that he looked any good in was the Sydney test against the Paks - and we all know about that one (except the ICC and CA of course). This guy, Krezja (give him a proper go), O'Keefe and Smith - give 'em a try I say. Ah, but then I woke up, and the selectors were standing at the bottom of the bed.

  • on October 26, 2010, 10:27 GMT

    That would be pretty exciting to see Doherty play against an asian side good at plaing spin. It would be a litmus test for the assessment of the competency claimed by aussies of their young spinner.

  • on October 26, 2010, 9:36 GMT

    Finally he gets a chance. He won't ever play test cricket, his style of bowling won't suit it. But I think he's going to be a very good ODI bowler for us. Good luck Xavier

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  • on October 26, 2010, 9:36 GMT

    Finally he gets a chance. He won't ever play test cricket, his style of bowling won't suit it. But I think he's going to be a very good ODI bowler for us. Good luck Xavier

  • on October 26, 2010, 10:27 GMT

    That would be pretty exciting to see Doherty play against an asian side good at plaing spin. It would be a litmus test for the assessment of the competency claimed by aussies of their young spinner.

  • David47 on October 26, 2010, 11:01 GMT

    Give him a go. Don't forget, we're trying to find a spinner here that will serve us well for the next 6 or 7 years (at least). Hauritz has had plenty of chances - the only test match that he looked any good in was the Sydney test against the Paks - and we all know about that one (except the ICC and CA of course). This guy, Krezja (give him a proper go), O'Keefe and Smith - give 'em a try I say. Ah, but then I woke up, and the selectors were standing at the bottom of the bed.

  • contrast_swing on October 26, 2010, 11:17 GMT

    What?!! Come on, the guy has a first class average of 51.9 and a strike rate of 87. What makes you think that he will do any good against the Lankans?

  • cricketaddict000 on October 26, 2010, 11:24 GMT

    About time. Doherty has been deserving of an international spot for the past few years. For once selectors got it right. He's the best we've got. If he gets smacked it means Aus really have no quality slow bowlers. Better and more experienced than O'keefe who only cemented his NSW spot last season.

  • krik.lover on October 26, 2010, 11:31 GMT

    Nice Move, Its very boring to see only Hauritz as a spinner with his ordinary performances for a long....long..... time in aussie after the legends retirement........Give a chance to freshers

  • D-Train on October 26, 2010, 11:38 GMT

    Although his career stats are poor over the last few seasons he's performed very well in the shorter format.

  • LALITHKURUWITA on October 26, 2010, 11:43 GMT

    I need tough competitive cricket. I do not care who wins. I also need SL drums, SL music, SL songs & other SL entertainments at Sydney Cricket ground on 05-11-10. Please all SL supporters, come with wearing your SL Jersey, SL Cap, Banners, Flags and most importantly, The Sri Lankan Flag. Make SCG like your own ground in Sri Lanka. Also after the match please all gather outside the ground and play drums, sing and dance for 2 hours. We do not get this opportunity every year. ( Remember we did last time in 2008) Go Lions go go !!!!

  • _Australian_ on October 26, 2010, 11:52 GMT

    O'Keefe should be picked ahead of Doherty. It really does feel like CA are clutching at straws trying every state spinner in the country looking for immediate success without giving other guys a decent go. It wont work. I think they should take Hauritz, Smith and O'Keefe. O'Keefe should be given a run now to get him used to ODI's because I see him as our future spinner with Smith.

  • djfw666 on October 26, 2010, 11:58 GMT

    Good luck to the guy, he will be good in ODIs and Twenty20.