Australian news July 27, 2009

Australian coaches give doosra the flick

Cricinfo staff

Australian offspinners are unlikely to get much local help in learning the doosra after several of the nation's leading spin coaches agreed to banish the delivery. A group including Shane Warne, Terry Jenner and Ashley Mallett decided the doosra should not be taught in Australia.

That conclusion came from last month's spin summit, when Warne, Jenner, Mallett, Stuart MacGill, Gavin Robertson, Jim Higgs and Peter Philpott gathered at the Centre of Excellence in Brisbane. The men had doubts over the legality of the doosra, despite the ICC clearing several bowlers to deliver the ball at international level.

"There was unanimous agreement that the off-spinner's 'other-one', the doosra, should not be coached in Australia," Mallett wrote in the Adelaide Review. "I have never seen anyone actually bowl the doosra.

"It has to be a chuck. Until such time as the ICC declares that all manner of chucking is legal in the game of cricket I refuse to coach the doosra. All at the spin summit agreed."

Australia's No. 1 spinner Nathan Hauritz has been working on the doosra for a couple of years without perfecting it, while Jason Krejza and Dan Cullen have also attempted to develop the delivery. However, the spin coaches were keen to encourage Australia's young spinners to bowl aggressively, searching for wickets, rather than becoming too defensive.

The need to encourage young spinners at state level was also an issue and Warne suggested extending Sheffield Shield matches to five days to let slow bowlers learn how to dismiss teams on wearing pitches. The coaches hoped that state selectors and captains would employ specialist spinners more often, especially at a time when there were significant opportunities at Test and one-day level.

"Too often state teams are playing a batsman who bowls spin a bit in preference to a specialist spinner," Mallett wrote. "Even at Test level we've seen batsmen such as Michael Clarke bowling at important times. That, in itself, tells us that spin bowling at the top level has fallen dramatically."