Australia news March 4, 2013

Warne's spin on Australian slow bowling

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Shane Warne's manifesto for Australian cricket has finally ventured into the area he knows most about: spin bowling. In summing up the underlying reasons for a dreadful dearth in genuinely accomplished spinners around the country, Warne all but acknowledges that his was an impossible act to follow.

While offering the novel suggestion that spin bowlers the world over would benefit from an increase in the height and width of the stumps to compensate for advancements in bats and the reduced size of grounds, Warne's main point revolved around how spinners are viewed in Australia.

He reasoned that spin bowlers are now expected to provide exactly the sort of threat he once did - simultaneously an attacking weapon and defensive bulwark, able to dry up runs then clamber all over an opponent with wickets the moment circumstances changed. This, Warne said, was a commission too great to expect of the vast majority of young slow bowlers.

"I think the problem lies in what we expect from our young spin bowlers and the way they are handled at domestic level by their captains and coaches," Warne wrote. "The attitude should always be about taking wickets and not about economy rates: 4/100 off 25 overs is a good result and better than 2/60 off 25 overs.

"I believe the expectations are too high and the young spinners are put under a lot of pressure to be both attacking wicket takers as well as tight economical bowlers, which is very hard to do.

"My guidelines on what to look for in a young spinner is pretty simple; someone who can spin the ball. Any fast bowler that can swing or make the ball move has a chance to take wickets; if they bowl straight they will struggle. The same criteria applies for spin bowling."

Among the problems faced by young spinners is the expectation, both from themselves and their captains, that they will be capable of bowling equally well across all three formats, when the subtleties and requirements range from first-class matches to Twenty20s is vast.

Warne did not play T20 until his career was entering its twilight - how different might he have turned out if he had been juggling the shortest form with first-class matches and his early Tests in 1992?

"Twenty20 and 50 over cricket are a hindrance in the development of a young spinner as you have to bowl differently in those forms; with so many $'s involved in the various 20/20 competitions around the world, it's not an easy situation," Warne wrote. "This is where the responsibility falls upon the player.

"If the young spinner wants to play Test cricket for Australia, then maybe they have to back themselves to learn how to bowl before taking up the options available to them around the world in the shorter forms of the game.

"Easy to say, I know, but I believe we should identify our top four spinners and put them on a decent contract and have them play nothing but first class cricket for twelve months and then take a view and re-assess."

Lastly, Warne emphasised the importance of a strong, constructive relationship between a spin bowler and his captain. While Michael Clarke has largely set a decent example of this for Australia in recent times, stories are legion of Shield and club captains either misusing their spinners or ignoring them completely.

"They also have to play under a captain who is prepared to back the spinner and play them in all 10-shield games not just in Adelaide or Sydney where the ball spins," Warne wrote. "This way, the spinner gets experience in all the different conditions and the good spinners will adapt and find a way to be successful.

"The more a captain can put a young spinner, and the team for that matter, in situations where they have to learn how to win a game for the team or help contribute to a win, the faster the jar of experience strengthens along with their confidence.

"Nothing beats knowing the captain has faith in you and will back you, as Alan Border did with me when I started. It means a lot, eases your mindset and boosts your confidence."

Daniel Brettig is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. He tweets here

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • D.V.C. on March 6, 2013, 3:22 GMT

    Part of the problem is that young spinners aren't as developed in their craft as young fast bowlers. And part of the reason for that is that juniors play on concrete and astroturf wickets, whereas in other areas of the world they don't. The best thing the ACB could do to develop more young spinners is get more turf wickets in parks around Australia. Ok, with the weather some of them might not have a lot of grass on them, but neither do most wickets in India. Upkeep is required, yes, but somehow English councils manage fine, even preparing wickets in parks not used by formal teams!

  • Nilesh_T on March 4, 2013, 11:49 GMT

    Warnie is bang on the money here,fully agree. Expecting the crop of spinners Australia has produced since his retirement to be anywhere near his stratospheric standards is a complete waste of time. Geniuses like him and Murali are once in a lifetime,who can turn a ball on a glass top or a marble table even. Over the years, Cricket Australia has ruined careers of spinners one after the other , Casson, Jason Krietza, Hauritz, Beer, and now Lyon is on the same path..and the list is endless. They have just not been given that length of time to settle in or gain confidence in their own ability. Why can't they bring in a specialist spin coach from the subcontinent even ? And yes, Warnie's idea of taller and wider stumps is not to be laughed at. It's time the mismatch between bat & ball is narrowed. Over the years bats' sizes, quality and stroke power has grown manifold & grounds smaller. T20 is totally a batter's game 9 times out of 10. Where does it leave the poor spinner?

  • smudgeon on March 4, 2013, 11:29 GMT

    Wouldn't mind seeing another team on the domestic scene - maybe not aligned to a state, but aligned to the academy or a "development XI"? Have them play out of Darwin, Cairns, Canberra, differing surfaces. Get a good, young team (maybe a "true" under 25s?) who can compete against the states, and who knows? One more team playing on a few SC-like pitches (okay, exclude Canberra from that description!) means more opportunities for not only spinners to develop their craft, but also gives first class Aussie batsmen more exposure to playing spin and playing on conditions that suit swing (another troubling trend) and spin. The trouble here in India is two-fold: our spinners aren't good enough to take 10 wickets, and out batsmen are for the most part not good enough against spin to go on with their scratchy starts and score 400+. If winning in India is a measure of a good team, then start planning for the next tour now...

  • Cantbowlcantbat on March 4, 2013, 4:53 GMT

    Ironically, Warnie's part of the problem. There had previously been some very strong Oz sides with only average spinners until Warnie came along. The last "great" Oz spinner before Warne was Benaud who retired in 1963. Between them Oz had Mallett, May, P. Taylor, Matthews, O'Keefe, Philpott et al, none of whom were great spinners and they were not expected to be matchwinners. These days, spinners are expected to be as good as Warnie- within the first 2 or 3 matches they play- or get dropped. Even Warnie only took 2/280 in his first couple of Tests!

  • Liquefierrrr on March 4, 2013, 4:16 GMT

    Someone just needs to take Steve O'Keefe, Ashton Turner, Ashton Agar, Fawad Ahmed and Adam Zampa (that gives a SLA x 2, OS and 2 x LS) and just play them.

    Play them every single FC game in Aus, then fly them to County and play them there. Build them a heap of games in a variety of conditions and against a variety of opponents. Really get them a cross-section of exposure.

    THEN trial them at Test Level. Our current formula is seemingly to arbitrarily identify a spinner, chuck them into a Test Match and pray for the best. Sometimes it works (Lyon's first 12 months), sometimes it doesn't (the list is enormous here post-Warne).

    There is basically no development other than to play them occasionally at FC level. Even then, they are underused, not used at all, or used poorly by seemingly uncertain captains.

    The players named above need to be playing every single game, year-round, and bowling hundreds of overs. In 3 years time some of them will still be in their early 20s.

  • Chiller38 on March 4, 2013, 3:48 GMT

    Could not agree more with Warney. It is amazing that in Australia we pick a spinner for every Test venue, even Perth, hoever, State selectors do not. It is hardly a wonder therefore that there is no spinning superstar on the horizon with the possible exception being Agar. He does look special and probably should be bowling in Hyderbad now.

  • AKS286 on March 5, 2013, 19:10 GMT

    @Ozcricketwriter As you say "we need a spin bowling coach" but it whom will be ? Because Lyon is better than warne, murli, gibbs, kumble, saqlain, swann, ajmal, harbhajan, herath, monty. IMO lyon don't need any spin coach & he is the future captain and coach of Aus.

  • Front-Foot-Lunge on March 5, 2013, 15:26 GMT

    @ Eight8: Getting a batsman to play on is not a complete victory for a bowler. Just because Tendulkar chopped one back onto to his stumps does not make Lyon spin the ball any more than Ben Hilfenhaus. If you're a fan of spin bowling though, there are years' worth of videos of Swann ripping it square on flat decks to indulge in.

  • stoos on March 5, 2013, 10:01 GMT

    makes you really feel for macgill and what a record he would have had

  • whatisitbillie on March 5, 2013, 1:37 GMT

    I think the problem goes much deeper than just the current crop of spinners not receiving the experience and the support they need. I have a 10 year old son who has bowled leg spin since he picked up a cricket ball four years ago. He just has a nack for it but now that's he's older and needing to refine his skill finding specialised spin coaching is just about impossible. At clinics the emphasis is on pace bowling while just lip service is paid to spinners. This has the effect of young spinners not receiving the coaching they require but also our young batsman aren't experiencing what it's like to play a spin bowler. No wonder Phil Hughes and co look like rank amateurs against the Indian spinners. There needs to be more focus on identifying these young players with potential as spinners at the grassroots level so they can develop what is without doubt one of the great arts of this amazing sport.

  • D.V.C. on March 6, 2013, 3:22 GMT

    Part of the problem is that young spinners aren't as developed in their craft as young fast bowlers. And part of the reason for that is that juniors play on concrete and astroturf wickets, whereas in other areas of the world they don't. The best thing the ACB could do to develop more young spinners is get more turf wickets in parks around Australia. Ok, with the weather some of them might not have a lot of grass on them, but neither do most wickets in India. Upkeep is required, yes, but somehow English councils manage fine, even preparing wickets in parks not used by formal teams!

  • Nilesh_T on March 4, 2013, 11:49 GMT

    Warnie is bang on the money here,fully agree. Expecting the crop of spinners Australia has produced since his retirement to be anywhere near his stratospheric standards is a complete waste of time. Geniuses like him and Murali are once in a lifetime,who can turn a ball on a glass top or a marble table even. Over the years, Cricket Australia has ruined careers of spinners one after the other , Casson, Jason Krietza, Hauritz, Beer, and now Lyon is on the same path..and the list is endless. They have just not been given that length of time to settle in or gain confidence in their own ability. Why can't they bring in a specialist spin coach from the subcontinent even ? And yes, Warnie's idea of taller and wider stumps is not to be laughed at. It's time the mismatch between bat & ball is narrowed. Over the years bats' sizes, quality and stroke power has grown manifold & grounds smaller. T20 is totally a batter's game 9 times out of 10. Where does it leave the poor spinner?

  • smudgeon on March 4, 2013, 11:29 GMT

    Wouldn't mind seeing another team on the domestic scene - maybe not aligned to a state, but aligned to the academy or a "development XI"? Have them play out of Darwin, Cairns, Canberra, differing surfaces. Get a good, young team (maybe a "true" under 25s?) who can compete against the states, and who knows? One more team playing on a few SC-like pitches (okay, exclude Canberra from that description!) means more opportunities for not only spinners to develop their craft, but also gives first class Aussie batsmen more exposure to playing spin and playing on conditions that suit swing (another troubling trend) and spin. The trouble here in India is two-fold: our spinners aren't good enough to take 10 wickets, and out batsmen are for the most part not good enough against spin to go on with their scratchy starts and score 400+. If winning in India is a measure of a good team, then start planning for the next tour now...

  • Cantbowlcantbat on March 4, 2013, 4:53 GMT

    Ironically, Warnie's part of the problem. There had previously been some very strong Oz sides with only average spinners until Warnie came along. The last "great" Oz spinner before Warne was Benaud who retired in 1963. Between them Oz had Mallett, May, P. Taylor, Matthews, O'Keefe, Philpott et al, none of whom were great spinners and they were not expected to be matchwinners. These days, spinners are expected to be as good as Warnie- within the first 2 or 3 matches they play- or get dropped. Even Warnie only took 2/280 in his first couple of Tests!

  • Liquefierrrr on March 4, 2013, 4:16 GMT

    Someone just needs to take Steve O'Keefe, Ashton Turner, Ashton Agar, Fawad Ahmed and Adam Zampa (that gives a SLA x 2, OS and 2 x LS) and just play them.

    Play them every single FC game in Aus, then fly them to County and play them there. Build them a heap of games in a variety of conditions and against a variety of opponents. Really get them a cross-section of exposure.

    THEN trial them at Test Level. Our current formula is seemingly to arbitrarily identify a spinner, chuck them into a Test Match and pray for the best. Sometimes it works (Lyon's first 12 months), sometimes it doesn't (the list is enormous here post-Warne).

    There is basically no development other than to play them occasionally at FC level. Even then, they are underused, not used at all, or used poorly by seemingly uncertain captains.

    The players named above need to be playing every single game, year-round, and bowling hundreds of overs. In 3 years time some of them will still be in their early 20s.

  • Chiller38 on March 4, 2013, 3:48 GMT

    Could not agree more with Warney. It is amazing that in Australia we pick a spinner for every Test venue, even Perth, hoever, State selectors do not. It is hardly a wonder therefore that there is no spinning superstar on the horizon with the possible exception being Agar. He does look special and probably should be bowling in Hyderbad now.

  • AKS286 on March 5, 2013, 19:10 GMT

    @Ozcricketwriter As you say "we need a spin bowling coach" but it whom will be ? Because Lyon is better than warne, murli, gibbs, kumble, saqlain, swann, ajmal, harbhajan, herath, monty. IMO lyon don't need any spin coach & he is the future captain and coach of Aus.

  • Front-Foot-Lunge on March 5, 2013, 15:26 GMT

    @ Eight8: Getting a batsman to play on is not a complete victory for a bowler. Just because Tendulkar chopped one back onto to his stumps does not make Lyon spin the ball any more than Ben Hilfenhaus. If you're a fan of spin bowling though, there are years' worth of videos of Swann ripping it square on flat decks to indulge in.

  • stoos on March 5, 2013, 10:01 GMT

    makes you really feel for macgill and what a record he would have had

  • whatisitbillie on March 5, 2013, 1:37 GMT

    I think the problem goes much deeper than just the current crop of spinners not receiving the experience and the support they need. I have a 10 year old son who has bowled leg spin since he picked up a cricket ball four years ago. He just has a nack for it but now that's he's older and needing to refine his skill finding specialised spin coaching is just about impossible. At clinics the emphasis is on pace bowling while just lip service is paid to spinners. This has the effect of young spinners not receiving the coaching they require but also our young batsman aren't experiencing what it's like to play a spin bowler. No wonder Phil Hughes and co look like rank amateurs against the Indian spinners. There needs to be more focus on identifying these young players with potential as spinners at the grassroots level so they can develop what is without doubt one of the great arts of this amazing sport.

  • markatnotts on March 4, 2013, 22:48 GMT

    @DylanBrah, excellent point. For us with more games this shouldn't be a problem in England. Though we seem to have had more games the last year or two heavily dominanted by seam and swing bowling with wetter summers. Hardly helping Swann and Monty replacements in future years. Ok we can't control the climate but we could try more with pitches. Historicaly though haven't Australia traditionally been better at producing a superb leggie every decade or two and not so much re finger spin?

  • Ozcricketwriter on March 4, 2013, 22:46 GMT

    The only problem is the part where he said, "make the stumps taller and wider". Um, Warne? That is never going to happen. The rest of it is decent and I think that it has to be said. We need a spin bowling coach, not just a bowling coach. And we need to pick a bowler who can spin the ball, not just a bowler who takes wickets. Doherty spins the ball more than any other bowler in Australia, while Steve O'Keefe can barely make the ball move. The next biggest spinner of the ball is probably Steve Smith. The problem is that they aren't nurtured.

  • markatnotts on March 4, 2013, 22:32 GMT

    I am getting pretty sick of several commentators on here, from all countries and I wish their comments would stop being published on this site if nothing sensible can be said. FFL you are an embarrassment to all English fans. If you knew or understood anything about finger spin bowling you would know generally they don't rip the ball that much relative to Warne. I have been watching this series, all three Ozzie spinners have turned the ball. Unfortunately there isn't enough experience, and in the case of the two in this game a lack of control whilst playing excellent players of spin. As Warne alludes to you don't get presented with good finger spinners after a few first class games. Monty and Swann spent years playing first class cricket before playing for England. Even they have had bad times. BTW have you ever tried bowling finger spin?

  • Eight8 on March 4, 2013, 21:41 GMT

    @Front-Foot-Lunge, you must have a lot of time on your hands. Another post banging on about how bad anything to do with Australia is. Would be nice to get a change of theme out of you and actually offer something constructive. Think you've missed the mark with Lyon. He can spin the ball, as witnessed by the one he ripped through Tendulkar's defence (think it is the first time he's ever been bowled by an Australian spinner in his whole career).

    He's green and needs to develop his pace, flight, line and some variations, but his stock standard ball certainly is up there for having enough spin and he does get good dip when he is on song.

    You are obviously too busy penning your next Aussie sledging post to actually watch what is going on. Suggest maybe a little bit of a closer look in your own backyard. Since the start of 2011 (not including the current series of both nations) the respective test records are: Eng: 10 wins, 5 losses (19 tests). Aus: 12 wins, 3 losses (20 tests).

  • on March 4, 2013, 18:22 GMT

    warne is best spinner off all time,problem is 20/20 cricket ,why i tell u very simple word .in age 19/20 player dont no he play for country or not he work hard for his game. he wants play for country but he also human ,he think if he w ait for sellectors call play test cricket .in this time so many if but going in his mind. he know these year never came back .he cant wait anymore .he think change the game go for 20/20 .test cricket is diffrent game .where u make a mistake from batsman.then u got wicket .diffrent type of abbilty .like warne, kumlble you need patiances .in20/20 only 4 over u dont need wicket only block run .batsman wants quick run he make mistake then out.bowler wants quick money and satatus.so why he play test cricket 5 day.he wants play ipl,big bash,bpl,slpl,means 20/20 i say here very strongly in future we never seen player like sachin,lara,ponting warne,kumble,pollock,...exmple gambir good test batsman,now where he is,he got 2 millon ipl now fussssssssssss

  • couchpundit on March 4, 2013, 18:17 GMT

    @Front-Foot-Lunge - Warne also implied clearly that one should not expect them to bowl straight. If your captain who is not fit to be a captain sets a field and asks spinners to bowl straight...australia is never going to have a quality Spinner. Captain needs to understand the bowlers he has got...unfortunately Mr.Calrke has got no time for Team song(ask certain batsmen who was booted out of Australian National Team by Mr.Clarke unethical activities)...how on earth he is going to understand his team-mate

  • on March 4, 2013, 17:24 GMT

    @BradmanBestEver with all due respect to bradman,the world waited for him to play with a straight bat,didnt happen..think sachin,ponting,lara more dominant in the face of better bowling

  • Front-Foot-Lunge on March 4, 2013, 17:19 GMT

    Warne said: "My guidelines on what to look for in a young spinner is pretty simple; someone who can spin the ball." ---- Well that takes Lyon, Doherty & Maxwell out of the equation, plus any of the other seamers masquerading as spinners over in Australia... Who else does that leave? The answer is unfortunately None.

  • DylanBrah on March 4, 2013, 16:47 GMT

    Spinners need to be given a chance at domestic level. The pitches we are preparing are just ridiculous in Australia. Batsmen and spinners just stand no chance - and it's showing. We need to add more teams and play more FC matches rather than taking a month off in the middle of the SS season to play BBL. You look at India and they have dozens of 22-23 year olds with 50+ FC matches under their belt ready to step up to Test cricket. These days it seems that young players in Australia struggle to even get a look at FC cricket until 20-21. Furthermore, how can we expect to find a half decent spin bowler if they can only get 5 games a year whilst being misused by the captains? We are already seeing the NSP select Test players based PURELY on T20/ODI form. RIDICULOUS. We have serious problems in Australia, and unless there are major changes we can expect an extremely grim future.

  • on March 4, 2013, 15:28 GMT

    The problem is they change personel to often, there was nothing wrong with Nathan Lyon, he has been bowling well and had played 20 test matches with some good success and all of a sudden he has 1 bad game and is dropped. Now what is the selection for the next test going to be??? No one knows if they are going to play or not and it adds pressure

  • BradmanBestEver on March 4, 2013, 15:15 GMT

    Good point about the bats and ground size Warnie. Makes Bradman look even further ahead of all the other batsman who have ever played the great game of cricket. The argument should be about who was the 3rd best batsman of all time, with the 2nd best batsman being: " a very large amount of white space".

  • ravi_hari on March 4, 2013, 13:52 GMT

    Only a spinner understands other spinner's plight and pain. If Warne was discarded after his forgettable debut against India, he would have never been able to become a legend he is. If captains did not impose confidence on them Kumble, Warne, Murali, Vettori, Swann, Panesar, all would have been lost in the milee. Asking spinners to contain is like riding a sports car @ 40mph. Traditionally spinners have been employed to encourage batsmen to go after and purchase wkts. Of late the limited overs formats have forced spinners to learn to restrict. They should always remain attacking bowlers allowing batsmen to score off them but perish doing the same. If you look at the averages of the same bowlers in ODIs, the success rates a quite low. The reason being all these spinners continued to bowl the same in all the formats. Today the stress is so much on results that people are afraid of trading runs for wkts. The mindset needs to change for spinners to succeed else the species will be extinct!

  • japdb on March 4, 2013, 13:45 GMT

    One of the big problems is that there are no spinners wickets in Australia for a spinner to get say 5 for 60 and improve their figures. All wickets favor seam bowling so we have a plethora of good seamers - all pushing for test selection. Once Adelaide was a spinners wicket and SA used Jenner and Mallett and later Sleep and Inverarity. Sydney was a spinners wicket where Gleeson, O'Keefe, Matthews, Bennett and Holland got wickets. So even if you were from Qsl or WA at least twice a year there was a chance to turn some good numbers. Also the grounds have got smaller and bats bigger - easier to get fours/sixes. Perhaps batsmen are fitter and stronger and more able to power the ball over the boundary. Stands to reason they would all train much harder and have a higher level of fitness than the guys in the 1950's - 60's etc

  • Beertjie on March 4, 2013, 12:02 GMT

    Great idea @Rowayton on (March 4, 2013, 4:17 GMT). Excellent points @Kara Mirch on (March 4, 2013, 6:51 GMT)! @HatsforBats on (March 4, 2013, 7:14 GMT) Definitely "we should have a post-Argus review to determine why the NSP are selecting players based on short-format performances and whether they are multi-skilled (rather than actually skilled)? Maxwell & Doherty should be no where near this test team."! @ Liquefierrrr on (March 4, 2013, 4:16 GMT) You make good points. However, until they show more than "potential" (in other words play tests and do well), English counties will not look at them. Maybe they could play northern leagues? Financial assistance from CA would help them get a foot in, wherever that may be. But keep them away from BBL, IPL at all costs, as Shane says. Hoping for Holland to play as soon as he is fit. Stick with him - he meets all te requirements.

  • CricketFan365 on March 4, 2013, 11:54 GMT

    I have an interesting suggestion: Make half the wicket spinners friendly and half the wicket fast bowlers friendly. This way every captain would want to have spinners in the team.

  • on March 4, 2013, 10:42 GMT

    Wasn't Warne tweeting angrily a few weeks back that he would love to play for Aus right now as he's better than any of the young spinners?? I guess that's not expecting too much. And increasing the size of the wickets? really warnie?

  • Gordo85 on March 4, 2013, 7:45 GMT

    Well for a start players need to start getting selected on merit and not on who is your friend and who isn't. Selectors need to think outside the box.

  • Cricket_Man on March 4, 2013, 7:18 GMT

    Everybody starts expecting their spinners to take wickets when the opposition spinners turn the ball big time and take almost every wicket. Australia should look for a leg spinner because their off spinners don't have anything different about them. All of their offies have a simple, easy to read action. And please no Steven Smith. He himself is confused whether he is a batsman or a bowler. I am sure there are good spinners out there, you just need to find them.

  • HatsforBats on March 4, 2013, 7:14 GMT

    How about the curators in Australia start cutting the grass on our FC pitches? The difference between the shield gabba pitch and the test gabba pitch is unbelievable. Maybe if our spinners had something to work with their captains might be prepared to give them more opportunities? Maybe we should have a post-Argus review to determine why the NSP are selecting players based on short-format performances and whether they are multi-skilled (rather than actually skilled)? Maxwell & Doherty should be no where near this test team.

  • on March 4, 2013, 6:51 GMT

    The attitude of captains in Australia from the lowest level of club cricket (grade 5/6) to state level is pathetic. If a good spinner gets whacked for a few boundaries in successive overs , he is sent to oblivion for the rest of the game. Never mind the number of times he beat the bat or catches dropped or half chances gone begging of his bowling. Have seen this happen time and again to kids I know very well. Firstly, to back a spinner, a team needs to put a decent score on the board. If the batting failed for whatever reason, the captain goes on a defensive mindset that spinners would be expensive as there are very few runs to defend. They then fall back on pace. If they happen to break through and win that further reinforces the thinking that pace saved the day. The very premise of spin is to purchase wickets. Purchasing involves trading some runs for wickets. Unless the captains and clubs get out the short-term mindset to win all games to become champions, spin will suffer.

  • Meety on March 4, 2013, 6:24 GMT

    "...I believe we should identify our top four spinners and put them on a decent contract and have them play nothing but first class cricket for twelve months and then take a view and re-assess." - that sounds pretty much spot on to me! There are blokes like Doherty that look good in the short form niche, & that is fine. Oz have tended to shield Lyon form too much exposure to 20/20 - even that is where he first became recognised, so IMO sign up on a juicy contract that doesn't allow a player to play in overseas 20/20s & for that matter the BBL. The reality is, we can dredge any number of journeymen spinners (Higgs & Young recently) to bolster the BBL or even contract some players from afiliate nations to make the numbers - who cares, it's not like the fans that go to the BBL actually care much about WHO is playing for which team.

  • satishchandar on March 4, 2013, 5:56 GMT

    I guess Australia played with the spin options they had over the years. They ruined the career of Beau Casson who was steady in his ONLY test, Hauritz dropped for no reason even when he was the last spinner who won the game for Australia apart from North one instance, Didn't look upon probably only technically good spinner in Krejza and picking a pie chucker of Doherty in tests. Warne suggested Beer and he does look better spinner than Doherty in tests. If Australia really wanted a first choice spinner, they needed Simon O Keefe. We see no reason for the best spinners not being picked in the squad. Lyon deserved his place but certainly Doherty didn't.

  • zenboomerang on March 4, 2013, 5:17 GMT

    Funny that Warne says that we expect too much from our spinners, yet he is one of the biggest culprits in his many public comments...

    Much of the problem must fall on CA & the States that haven't supported spinners for decades - poor coaches & captains attitudes to spinners, curators making pace friendly pitches which could be made to allow for more spin on days 3/4 in the Shield... Also CA must look at adding at least 2 more teams (prefer 4) to the SS comp allowing us to develop more FC spinners & variety of pitches...

  • farkin on March 4, 2013, 5:05 GMT

    i see warne if finally getting off his duff and helping out the spin bowlers when there in India

  • bobagorof on March 4, 2013, 4:40 GMT

    Chiller38 - bowling Agar in Hyderbad would have been the death of the guy's career. He's 19 and has played 3 First Class matches. Much better to let him learn his craft for a couple of years, just as Warne suggests, rather than chuck him in the cauldron of India at this stage of his career.

    The danger of Warne's suggestion is that spin bowlers would start being an automatic selection regardless of form. It would also take a brave captain to bowl the spinner who has gone for plenty when the match is in the balance. It's what the game needs - attacking/adventurous captains - but I don't see it happening with our current crop. It would also help to pick guys who can rip the ball. Very few guys are turning it these days the way Warne and MacGill did. If you have someone who can rip it you can teach them control - much harder to do it the other way around.

  • tpjpower on March 4, 2013, 4:33 GMT

    I like Warney's turns of phrase. Obviously it is vital we set about "strengthening" the "jar of experience". It would probably be advisable to "upgrade the spoon of technique", or "consecrate the wasp of discipline" while we're at it.

  • on March 4, 2013, 4:23 GMT

    So on this basis they should have stuck with Krejza then...

  • Liquefierrrr on March 4, 2013, 4:22 GMT

    But have bags of experience and wickets in all kinds of conditions against all kinds of opponents.

    Even tours of India (that would be probably the MOST important outing) should happen. In FC capacity too, so Aus A v. India A etc. So the records count and the opponents are of a high standard.

    If you trawl the stats of India's FC scene there are some amazing players, especially batsmen, who would be great for these spinners to bowl against and learn from.

    It is arrogant for Aus to continue to just throw random spinners into the mix and expect them to perform like seasoned professionals such as Swann, Herath, Ajmal, all of those players are a little older and had huge amounts of wickets prior to dipping their toes into Test Cricket (at least on a full-time basis).

    That kind of experience counts for so much more than Aus seem to give credit for. Doherty has been playing for over a decade but has only played 53 first-class games and taken 122 wickts. No chance.

  • Rowayton on March 4, 2013, 4:17 GMT

    One thing worth considering is increasing the number of overs a Shield side has to bowl in a day to, say, 100, with a loss of competition points if they do not comply. This could compel sides to give spinners more of a go.

  • Rowayton on March 4, 2013, 4:17 GMT

    One thing worth considering is increasing the number of overs a Shield side has to bowl in a day to, say, 100, with a loss of competition points if they do not comply. This could compel sides to give spinners more of a go.

  • Liquefierrrr on March 4, 2013, 4:22 GMT

    But have bags of experience and wickets in all kinds of conditions against all kinds of opponents.

    Even tours of India (that would be probably the MOST important outing) should happen. In FC capacity too, so Aus A v. India A etc. So the records count and the opponents are of a high standard.

    If you trawl the stats of India's FC scene there are some amazing players, especially batsmen, who would be great for these spinners to bowl against and learn from.

    It is arrogant for Aus to continue to just throw random spinners into the mix and expect them to perform like seasoned professionals such as Swann, Herath, Ajmal, all of those players are a little older and had huge amounts of wickets prior to dipping their toes into Test Cricket (at least on a full-time basis).

    That kind of experience counts for so much more than Aus seem to give credit for. Doherty has been playing for over a decade but has only played 53 first-class games and taken 122 wickts. No chance.

  • on March 4, 2013, 4:23 GMT

    So on this basis they should have stuck with Krejza then...

  • tpjpower on March 4, 2013, 4:33 GMT

    I like Warney's turns of phrase. Obviously it is vital we set about "strengthening" the "jar of experience". It would probably be advisable to "upgrade the spoon of technique", or "consecrate the wasp of discipline" while we're at it.

  • bobagorof on March 4, 2013, 4:40 GMT

    Chiller38 - bowling Agar in Hyderbad would have been the death of the guy's career. He's 19 and has played 3 First Class matches. Much better to let him learn his craft for a couple of years, just as Warne suggests, rather than chuck him in the cauldron of India at this stage of his career.

    The danger of Warne's suggestion is that spin bowlers would start being an automatic selection regardless of form. It would also take a brave captain to bowl the spinner who has gone for plenty when the match is in the balance. It's what the game needs - attacking/adventurous captains - but I don't see it happening with our current crop. It would also help to pick guys who can rip the ball. Very few guys are turning it these days the way Warne and MacGill did. If you have someone who can rip it you can teach them control - much harder to do it the other way around.

  • farkin on March 4, 2013, 5:05 GMT

    i see warne if finally getting off his duff and helping out the spin bowlers when there in India

  • zenboomerang on March 4, 2013, 5:17 GMT

    Funny that Warne says that we expect too much from our spinners, yet he is one of the biggest culprits in his many public comments...

    Much of the problem must fall on CA & the States that haven't supported spinners for decades - poor coaches & captains attitudes to spinners, curators making pace friendly pitches which could be made to allow for more spin on days 3/4 in the Shield... Also CA must look at adding at least 2 more teams (prefer 4) to the SS comp allowing us to develop more FC spinners & variety of pitches...

  • satishchandar on March 4, 2013, 5:56 GMT

    I guess Australia played with the spin options they had over the years. They ruined the career of Beau Casson who was steady in his ONLY test, Hauritz dropped for no reason even when he was the last spinner who won the game for Australia apart from North one instance, Didn't look upon probably only technically good spinner in Krejza and picking a pie chucker of Doherty in tests. Warne suggested Beer and he does look better spinner than Doherty in tests. If Australia really wanted a first choice spinner, they needed Simon O Keefe. We see no reason for the best spinners not being picked in the squad. Lyon deserved his place but certainly Doherty didn't.

  • Meety on March 4, 2013, 6:24 GMT

    "...I believe we should identify our top four spinners and put them on a decent contract and have them play nothing but first class cricket for twelve months and then take a view and re-assess." - that sounds pretty much spot on to me! There are blokes like Doherty that look good in the short form niche, & that is fine. Oz have tended to shield Lyon form too much exposure to 20/20 - even that is where he first became recognised, so IMO sign up on a juicy contract that doesn't allow a player to play in overseas 20/20s & for that matter the BBL. The reality is, we can dredge any number of journeymen spinners (Higgs & Young recently) to bolster the BBL or even contract some players from afiliate nations to make the numbers - who cares, it's not like the fans that go to the BBL actually care much about WHO is playing for which team.

  • on March 4, 2013, 6:51 GMT

    The attitude of captains in Australia from the lowest level of club cricket (grade 5/6) to state level is pathetic. If a good spinner gets whacked for a few boundaries in successive overs , he is sent to oblivion for the rest of the game. Never mind the number of times he beat the bat or catches dropped or half chances gone begging of his bowling. Have seen this happen time and again to kids I know very well. Firstly, to back a spinner, a team needs to put a decent score on the board. If the batting failed for whatever reason, the captain goes on a defensive mindset that spinners would be expensive as there are very few runs to defend. They then fall back on pace. If they happen to break through and win that further reinforces the thinking that pace saved the day. The very premise of spin is to purchase wickets. Purchasing involves trading some runs for wickets. Unless the captains and clubs get out the short-term mindset to win all games to become champions, spin will suffer.