Australia in Sri Lanka 2011 August 12, 2011

Spinners need more time, says Doherty

ESPNcricinfo staff

Australia's most-recently dumped Test spinner, Xavier Doherty, believes the selectors should give slow bowlers more time to establish themselves in the five-day side. Doherty was surprisingly picked ahead of Nathan Hauritz for the opening Ashes Test last summer but was dropped after two matches and is now viewed as a one-day specialist.

The Western Australia left-armer, Michael Beer, is the incumbent but has played only one Test and will face pressure from the offspinner Nathan Lyon during the tour of Sri Lanka. Over the past few years, Jason Krejza was cut after two Tests, and Bryce McGain and Beau Casson after one each, and Doherty said it was a tough ask for spinners to prove themselves so quickly.

"It's obviously exciting because there's plenty of chances around, plenty of guys are getting a go at it," Doherty told AAP. "On that part of it there's obviously some positives there but looking back, the guys that have had those chances have only really had one, two or a handful of Tests to strut their stuff. In an ideal world you'd probably want a little bit longer than that to find your feet.

"It's an art that's quite tough, particularly in Australia, you don't always get the conditions you want all the time. There is obviously a lot of positives being a spinner at the moment but there's also quite a bit of pressure that comes with it. The message probably is you've got to find your feet quicker than normal because they're really after someone to nail that spot."

With Hauritz still recovering from a serious shoulder injury, Doherty is the first-choice slow bowler during the one-day series in Sri Lanka. Although he has slipped out of the Test reckoning, Doherty is confident that should another opportunity present itself in the longer format, he would be ready to take it with both hands.

"I felt like I finished off the Shield season pretty well and I've got my chance here to bowl well again," he said. "My destiny's really in my own hands to be honest. I've got this series to do well and I feel like I'm bowling really well and I've prepared as well as I can. I think I'm ready to go and if another opportunity presents itself down the track then I'll make sure I'm ready if that comes along."

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  • Randolph on August 14, 2011, 22:26 GMT

    @Meety - spot on, happy for X to get another game in the whites but only after Lyon and O'Keefe (or if they are both injured).

  • Andrew on August 14, 2011, 4:28 GMT

    @jonesy2/mrwaka/smudgeon - don't get me wrong I think Lyon is VERY impressive & probably truth be told outbowled O'Keefe in Zimbabwe head to head recently, but gee 2 or 3 good seasons of bowling + his batting has to have been appealing. I'd love to see him coming in @ #8, with MJ #9, & Hauritz # 10 (I know he's injured) in SL. That would be a tough 20 wickets for SL to win a match! -- -- -- I thoght Doherty bowled well in the 1st game, so I won't write him off to never play tests for Oz again, but hopefully that will only happen after Hauritz, Lyon, O'Keefe & C Bailey get a crack first (maybe Casson too! again).

  • Christopher on August 14, 2011, 2:29 GMT

    How many bloggers have countenanced the idea that CA has been incredibly obtuse in selection and appointments as a deliberate policy to undermine traditional cricket.Take into account,the lack of free to air and radio coverage and subsequent 2 years of financial losses.Anyone who read Haydens recent revelations,insulting many test playing nations,Shield,state oneday and 20/20 games and expectations of BBL ownership,must be struck by the lack of rebuttal at CA.He was a CA and QLD board member.In business,when someone expresses a policy opposed to company ethos,bringing the company into disrepute,a statement of rebuttal is quickly issued.The silence at CA was telling.Can anyone explain the retention of Hilditch, and Nielsens re-appointment,Chappells policies on youth,the Futures League and Centre of Excellence.Their impugning of the Shield and curators in a suprememly wet year?The rushing of BBL a year ahead of schedule in advance of the Argus Review and logic opposing stated rationales

  • Bryn on August 13, 2011, 8:52 GMT

    mrwaka ---is completely right and he points out the obvious joke that the two best spinners in Australia (haury and okeefe) are being treated like criminals by the selectors when they should be nurtured and helped and given every opportunity to succeed.

  • Neil on August 13, 2011, 7:53 GMT

    @Meety @Smudgeon: I couldn't agree more on the O'Keefe matter. I've watched him play a few FC matches now and the bloke impresses me every time. Why he hasn't had a run yet is beyond me. It seems to me that every other spinner in Australia is getting a run but the 2 who have the best credentials - Hauritz and O'Keefe. As a South-Africa fan, I really would like it if CA could sort themselves out and get back on track. With England, South-Africa and India (cough) being so strong at the moment it is a shame that Australia isn't up to the level that they should be.

  • wayne on August 13, 2011, 4:29 GMT

    @Meety - makes you wonder how we managed to produce Warne/Macgill in the frst place, right? O'Reilly, Benaud, Grimmett, etc. all had the benefit of uncovered pitches...not to take anything away from their obvious talents, but it's a lot tougher to be a spinner on Australian pitches these days. But agreed on O'Keefe, I can't imagine what the issue is with giving him a go in whites, especially seeing as they're willing to pick him in pyjamas where his stats aren't that flash...let's hope he's part of their longer-term thinking, though. I'd hate to see him go the way of Casson.

  • Andrew on August 12, 2011, 22:19 GMT

    @smudgeon - I think you're right in that Doherty AND other spinners in Oz are better than their FC figures suggest as its a bloody tough gig being a spinner in Oz. Oz batsmen dine out on offies in particular in this country.NO INTERNATIONAL SPINNER with more than 5 Tests has averaged less than 30 in the last 60yrs in Oz, in fact Hauritz is one of the best performed spinners in Oz in the last 60 yrs & his FC average sucks in Oz. Even Warne & McGill had inferior S/R & averages in the Shield to their Test stats. That being said - I think it is absolutely essential that O'Keefe with his amazing FC stats be looked at to see whether its a fluke or actual talent that sees him perform better than any spinner (Warne & McGill inc), in Oz in 60yrs. All he seems to be worthy of is a couple of T20 gigs & a few Oz List A games against the Zimmers. He should be in SL for the tests! -- -- -- Doherty is still quite young as a spinner, & he still may have a test future, (IMO its Lyon,O'keefe, Hauritz)

  • sreekant on August 12, 2011, 17:06 GMT

    it is a joke to include beer,he is getting smashed in Emerging players tournament at 8 rpo.

  • Gordon on August 12, 2011, 16:34 GMT

    All I know is that Steve Smith is not the answer when it comes to being a spin bowler in tests.

  • Dummy4 on August 12, 2011, 13:06 GMT

    Bring back Nathan Hauritz. He epitomes experience at the moment when it comes to the spinners in Australia. He also has a much better record than the 'incumbent' spinner, Michael Beer, let alone Xavier Doherty, who averages a shade under 50 at First Class level. Let's face it, Beer and Doherty aren't good enough for Tests, and Hauritz... well, he's no Shane Warne, but he's the most deserving. That's for sure.

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