Australia in Sri Lanka 2011 August 12, 2011

Spinners need more time, says Doherty

ESPNcricinfo staff
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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."