Australia in England 2012

Swann puts Doherty in the shade

Daniel Brettig at Edgbaston

July 3, 2012

Comments: 81 | Text size: A | A

George Bailey was bowled after making 65, England v Australia, 2nd ODI, The Oval, July 1, 2012
George Bailey had a difficult start to his innings at The Oval but battled to 65 © AFP

Watching Shane Warne's 1993 Ashes demolition of England from the dressing room, Phil Tufnell is said to have remarked the legspinner's performances were "ruining my career" by extracting far superior results from the same surfaces. After two matches in which his unfussy left-arm spin has been milked for runs, Xavier Doherty is under a similar level of pressure from his opposite number, Graeme Swann.

Both bowlers have one wicket from two matches, but there the parallels end. Swann tied Australia's middle order in knots at The Oval, and should have taken more than the wicket of Shane Watson, while bowling eight overs for 27 runs. He was principally responsible for the mid-innings torpor the tourists fell into, resulting in a final total England chased with ease.

In marked contrast, England have not allowed Doherty to settle into a rhythm, the use of the reverse sweep by Jonathan Trott and Ian Bell encapsulating the comfort with which the hosts have played him. George Bailey, Doherty's state captain with Tasmania, admitted that Australia's slow bowler on tour was being set a difficult task, both by the batsmen he opposes and the spinner he is invariably compared to.

"They're not letting him settle, and that's something we're talking about with him," Bailey said ahead of the third ODI at Edgbaston. "The opposite of the way we've played Graeme Swann, they're really challenging Dohey from the moment he comes on, not giving him the chance to get into his rhythm and set the fields he wants.

"The way they're manipulating the field is making it difficult for him to settle, along with probably some pressure of knowing the opposition does have a spinner of the calibre of Swann. He's probably feeling that pressure a little bit, the comparisons will be there between the two spinners in the game. That's a challenge for him, but I've seen a lot of him, and every time he has been challenged, he normally finds a way to respond."

Just as Doherty must find a way to set the agenda for England's batsmen rather than reacting to theirs, so Australia's batsmen need to find a better way around Swann. A greater use of the sweep has been advocated by some, and Bailey said there were plenty of ways to gain greater change from Swann's bowling than he managed in a halting start to his innings at The Oval.

"I was pretty happy with how I played him Lord's, not so much the other day where I found it a little more difficult," Bailey said. "I thought he bowled better. That balance of keeping wickets in hand for the final onslaught and to get that total up versus weighing up the risk and reward of putting a bit more pressure on him is something we'll talk about.

"The sweep's a good shot … there are a myriad of options, changing where you bat, use your feet more, sweep more, you can hit shots you're trying to hit better. They're all options and I guess the way he's trying to bowl is try to limit your opportunities to play those shots."

Bailey is in a curious position in Australian cricket, as captain of the Twenty20 team while still aspiring to a regular place in the 50-over side and a first baggy green cap in Test cricket. He will stay on in England after the conclusion of the ODI series for the Australia A tour, which he said would be as important if not more so than these matches in determining whether he might return for the 2013 Ashes series.

"When Test spots have come up over the last few years it's been a matter of being in the right place at the right time and I don't think this would be any different," Bailey said. "I pushed really hard to be on that A tour. There's a lot of other cricket on around it and after it but it's something I feel is really important. I just don't feel this is a time to be missing any form of red-ball cricket.

"Proving that you can handle the pressure of international cricket and handle different situations, there's no doubt it's transferable from ODI cricket to Tests. But I think to back that up you are going to have to be scoring some long-form runs as well."

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

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© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by Hammond on (July 6, 2012, 11:30 GMT)

@Meety- born in Darlinghurst and have never lived anywhere else.

Posted by Meety on (July 5, 2012, 12:09 GMT)

@RandyOZ - don't forget Hammond is a 100% tru-blue, bog average Ozzy! LOL!

Posted by RandyOZ on (July 5, 2012, 9:13 GMT)

@Hammond - yeh, it reminded me of when yourself and co completely disappeared for the entire Pakistan series.

Posted by stuartk319 on (July 5, 2012, 8:32 GMT)

What a limp article. Totally omits that, apart from McKay, who has been good, Doherty hasn't been any worse than any of the other bowlers. If he is dropped over these 2 games it will show what poor losers us Australians have become, especially as Doherty's ODI record in 2011/12 was 25wkts@30.44; 4.73rpo.

Posted by JG2704 on (July 4, 2012, 20:19 GMT)

@AussieheldhostagebywifeinUK - Did you watch any of these ODIs. Swann strangled the run rate in both games and in the second game strangled Watson who was threatening to take the game away from England before taking his wicket. Admittedly Monty outbowled him in UAE. Re the rankings , it's all pretty transparent. England were humiliated in UAE and did not play well in SL but still came out of that series with a draw. Agreed that a number 1 side should not be beaten - esp whitewashed - by a number 5 side but you are talking like Eng lose everytime they travel where in truth the last time they lost (home or away) pre UAE was 3 years ago. I'm sure you must remember what happened the previous winter tour and we drew in SA too. Does a team who draws a home series to an 8th ranked side or a team who draws most of their series , most of which are at home deserve number 1 more?

Posted by   on (July 4, 2012, 18:49 GMT)

To be fair to Doherty, any Aussie spinner that comes into the team will always have the same criticism. Shane Warne was a brilliant spinner but look at the attack he bowled in?? Doherty is an average cricketer but so is the aussie attack. Lee is a legend but hes not the same player he was, Mckay is an average cricketer at best, Johnson is useless, Watson is basically up and down meduim pace. Whereas the England attack has Swann who i still do not believe is anything special but having Anderson, Broad and either Finn, Bresnan in the attack helps him greatly.

Posted by Bruisers on (July 4, 2012, 13:46 GMT)

Doherty? Who the heck is he? Even Michael Clarke has outbowled him.

Posted by Hammond on (July 4, 2012, 13:45 GMT)

@5wombats- it's funny that hey- how the commentary from a whole continent disappeared. The test team from the most powerful cricket board has a record losing streak and everyone in India just started concentrating on IPL5 and prophecising the end of test cricket.

Posted by R_U_4_REAL_NICK on (July 4, 2012, 12:27 GMT)

Sometimes it seems that any spin-bowler who does not closely compare to Warne is destined for the chop... although Doherty seems to have been given an extended run for some reason.

Posted by   on (July 4, 2012, 12:20 GMT)

There are only two options really for Aus. A proper spinner that can take wickets, Lyon, or a spin bowling allrounder that can play the Symonds role, Maxwell. White and Smith are just short of international standard, it's as simple as that. Beer, Doherty, Okeefe and co. are just darts players masquerading as cricketers.

Posted by 5wombats on (July 4, 2012, 12:00 GMT)

Should have added.... or forgiven.

Posted by jb633 on (July 4, 2012, 11:26 GMT)

@bantersauars, I think you make a very valid point. The ability to both use the feet and sweep is essential to becoming a good player of spin. The best spinners at the moment are always one step ahead of the batsman and change up before the batsman changes up. I think Doherty is not a thinking bowler and without big spin he becomes cannon fodder. Vettori is a great thinking bowler and he can get away with not being able to spin the ball massivley. Swann, looked liek meat and drink whilst bowling to MJ in SL as he swept his good balls for 1/2 whacked his bad balls for 4 and occasioanlly deposited his length balls over mid wicket for 6. Of course Doh, should bowl better against the right handers but his inability to rag the ball really counts against him

Posted by RightArmEverything on (July 4, 2012, 10:18 GMT)

@Orienteer, that's quite funny about spinners' faces. Although check out McKay's face when he's running in to bowl, looks like he's about to have a nasty bowel movement.

Posted by 5wombats on (July 4, 2012, 10:15 GMT)

@Meety on (July 04 2012, 03:55 AM GMT) - you've got a fair point - you're right; more fool us for falling for all the wind-ups. We are content in the knowledge that we were here when the indians were piliing it onto us during the ODI series in india and during the Test series in UAE when dozens of india fans suddenly became life-long Pakistan fans. Those comments on those forums will never be forgotten.

Posted by YorkshirePudding on (July 4, 2012, 9:34 GMT)

@bantersaurus, I've seen it on the highlights, and Bell is a good sweeper, though he came undone by Ajmal in the UAE in tests. As you say the Sweep is not only a scorign shot but it manipuilates the field such that a fielder from square leg is usually moved behand square, opening up the area where the fielder was, enabling the batsman to use his feet and milk runs there.

Posted by JG2704 on (July 4, 2012, 9:16 GMT)

I'm not sure Doherty has been that bad has he? Unthreatening maybe , but besides Mckay who is head and shoulders above everyone so far , his figures stack up on par/above the other Oz bowlers. I think any Aus bowler will still be in Warne's shadow. Swann has not had that legend to live up to/be compared to

Posted by First_Drop on (July 4, 2012, 9:08 GMT)

I dont understand the buzz around Swann. He's not even the best spin bowler in England let alone the world. Panesar comprehensivly outbowled him v Pakistan. The difference at the moment between these sides is the batting. The aussies have the firepower to do the job, but are yet to produce the goods.

Also, how is it that a team with such a poor overseas record can get to no.1? India did it and now England are doing it....seems like the systems leans a little too much in favour of home teams...

Posted by bantersaurus on (July 4, 2012, 7:44 GMT)

Sweep shot is defiitely the difference. Have seen the youtube video on Ian Bell's sweep shots and the way he has been able to master it as not only a run scoring and get out of jail tool but more importantly using it to manipulate the field and get off strike which is what one day batting is all about, picking up the 1s and 2s and the odd boundary which is why it can't be compared to IPL or Big Bash form for you cricket nuffies out there who think IPL reigns supreme and players should be picked from those performances. Using Michael Clarke as an example he is one of the worlds best batsmen but has been brought up on the Australian philosaphy of use your feet to the spinners and get it on the half volley. Unfortunately the game has evolved from that type of batting and is a lot easier to set fields to where as if a player has a good sweep in his armoury the fielding captain needs players infront and behind square and you've only got 9 out there!

Posted by YorkshirePudding on (July 4, 2012, 7:03 GMT)

@No_1_again, to lay the blame at Bailey's feet as he wasnt the only culpable one, Johnson was wayward conceeding 4 no balls (and crucially 4 free hits 2 or 3 of which where dispatched to the boundry) , and 2 wides, as well as bowling some dross, (7 overs for 43), Forrest scored 12 off 30 deliveries, Clarke 10 off 21. Not one aussie top order batsman tried the sweep shot against Swann allowing them to strangle the runs at a crucial time.

Posted by YorkshirePudding on (July 4, 2012, 6:54 GMT)

@joseyesu, its mainly due to covered pitches such that 40-50+ years ago uncovered wickets would decay a lot quicker, and if there had been rain you could get a nice sticky wicket as it dried due to the crust that formed which allowed balls to grip or have severe variable bounce. some argue that uncovered wickets are the way to go, but administrators dont wnat to see games finish inside 3 days as they lose significant amounts of money from ticket sales.

Posted by joseyesu on (July 4, 2012, 6:08 GMT)

Why the spinners are not effective today? Is it everybody has the talent to play them or is the pitches not suit to the spinners. What happened to the score of 250+ and defending it. Seems swan gets a little respect compare to the other spinners across.

Posted by YorkshirePudding on (July 4, 2012, 5:17 GMT)

I'm not sure its fair to compare Doherty and Swann, they are different people. Also is fair to say that the Aussies havent employed the sweepshot against swann even when theres no leg slip, instead prefering to hit into the leg side in front of square where the fielders were, this was pointed out by Simon Hughes on the C5 highlights.

Posted by anver777 on (July 4, 2012, 5:04 GMT)

Aus need someone like Cameron White, who can lift the tempo in the middle overs.. He was in good nick during IPL matches, so why not recall him !!!!

Posted by No_1_again on (July 4, 2012, 4:10 GMT)

I think George Baily should concentrate on his batting ( in my opinion he was one of the reason to loose the match). I wonder if Swann is so good why he wasn't allowed to finish his 10 overs. It's pity to see comparing Swann to master class of Warne.

Posted by johnnycash on (July 4, 2012, 4:01 GMT)

I believe the aussies are playing Swann way too cautiously. Obviously with most of Australia's batting lineup playing to hold their spots, noone wants to dance down the track and be stumped by half the pitch. Swann changed game 2 with his pressure and immaculate line, reducing the run rate at the time, but the aussies need to milk his bowling for more singles, turn the strike over.

Posted by Meety on (July 4, 2012, 4:00 GMT)

@Moppa - that caught me out a while back when I thought Randy had multiple personalities, there are a few people on this site that have been immitated. The Randy one is the hardest to pick IMO.

Posted by Meety on (July 4, 2012, 3:55 GMT)

@jmcilhinney - from what I gather, you have lived in Oz for a fairly long time & from a young age. Surely in that time you have met plenty of randyOz's who are wind up merchants? RandyOz has stumbled onto a couple of winners 1) England = United XI, & 2) You & wombats are "fair weather fans". Why are they winners? - it's because you keep biting back. He'll keep posting, the comments & will be stoked to know that you've gone thru the archives. Jonesy2 is a slightly different beast as he usually just trolls once in an article & knicks off. The amount of times in my life I've had mates bag me for things I've never done is innumerable. @Hammond - if you are going to stray from your usual "I'm an Ozzy" & Oz are a "bog average side" comments, please get the facts right. Participation levels in cricket is increasing in Oz, & are at record levels & most of the western world are "fatter" than the previous batch!

Posted by caughtatcover on (July 4, 2012, 3:53 GMT)

Do'h has been pretty useful for Tasmania over the last couple of seasons and therefore he has had his chance ahead of the others in contention. However, the quality english batsmen playing in this series have exposed him as the weak link in the aussie attack. I have full confidence that he would bounce back in the long run as he has done for Tasmania. But for the remainder of this particular series, I feel he should be rested as the aussies have Clarke and Hussey to bowl that quota of 10 overs and instead bring in a batsman to strengthen their middle order.

Posted by Mad_Hamish on (July 4, 2012, 3:38 GMT)

Seeing as Swann is unlikely to play for Australia a direct comparison with him isn't overly useful. Of names mentioned in other posts in the last season of domestic one dayers O'Keefe played 5 matches and took 2 wickets @ 73 (admittedly at 4.42 rpo), Hauritz hasn't played much since his shoulder injury. Maxwell looks more of a batsman than a bowler and would have to score more runs in domestic one dayers to challenge for a spot as a bat (last summer 5 innings 74 runs @ 24.66) although he could be worth a punt to come in somewhere between 5 & 7 to try and hit but he'd probably find it a bit harder. Holland was probably the best spinner in the domestic one dayers last year (10 wickets @19.80) but he's got to produce for more than 1 year when he's played 21 matches, 18 wickets @ 46.27 overall. Doherty has been an extremely effective performer in the domestics for a long time and has generally done a reasonable job in the internationals.

Posted by Orienteer on (July 4, 2012, 3:11 GMT)

Hammond - I agree completely about Australia needing to get back to grass roots cricket. I often see the Pura Cup matches being played to virtually empty stadia over here - not even the players' parents turn up it seems! Australia will have a much healthier future with a healthy national comp.

Posted by Moppa on (July 4, 2012, 3:10 GMT)

@hhillbumper, @yorkshirematt, d0n't worry, y0u were reading the 0ne and 0nly Randy0Z. RandyOZ hasn't changed his tune!

Posted by Hammond on (July 4, 2012, 2:46 GMT)

Swann is a class better than anything Australia have in the cupboard. There is no denying that. Australia need to get back to grass roots cricket, I personally know that the participation level is way down compared to 10 years ago, and the young blokes are getting lazier and fatter every new batch that comes out.

Posted by azzaman333 on (July 4, 2012, 2:41 GMT)

Doherty is no worse than Swann in short form cricket. The difference is Swann doesn't have deadweight bowlers like Lee or Johnson having to bowl 10 overs each and gift a heap of free runs. In the 2nd ODI in particular, the game was lost 4 overs into England's innings because Lee and Johnson bowled complete crap. Nothing Doherty could do to make up for the crap they dished up.

Posted by Orienteer on (July 4, 2012, 2:40 GMT)

Why are spinners so visually annoying? Swann bowls with his collar up like a teenager at the school disco, Doherty bowls with his tongue sticking out. Swann is the best bowler of the two, now and in 5 years time. His economy, experience, batting and guile make up for his weird obsession to keep his neck warm.

Posted by jmcilhinney on (July 4, 2012, 2:40 GMT)

@RandyOZ on (July 03 2012, 23:18 PM GMT), why do you feel the need to lie all the time? I checked to be sure and found comments by 5wombats in the reports for all three Tests that England lost in UAE. What's more, he had the good grace to congratulate Pakistan and compliment their play. Will you start welcoming me back again too, even though I was commenting right through that series? If you had anything worthwhile to say then you wouldn't have to lie and repeat yourself over and over. As for Swann being out-bowled in UAE, people seem to want to look only at the wickets column. Monty took more wickets but bowled twice the number of overs. Swann had the better average and strike rate. His figures are not as good as Ajmal's or Herath's of course, but then the England batsmen rather helped with that. I agree that Lyon has had a decent start to his career but he is yet to finish a series with a better average and strike rate than Swann had in UAE.

Posted by Okakaboka on (July 4, 2012, 2:39 GMT)

There is no doubt in my mind that O'Keefe or Maxwell are our best spin options. O'Keefe was out of form recently but you can put a lot of that down to the treatment handed out to him by SFB Hilditch & Co. I've watched Maxwell bowl, and while not as good as Lyon, does have the potential to be a very effective ODI bowler. He is improving and playing at the higher level may develop him quicker. The plus side is he can be an explosive batsman...... even better than Warner when he gets going. Has a great eye! So, even if he went for an extra 10 runs off his 10 overs, probabiltity would have it this would be more than offset by his batting. If we want a spinner that can take wickets in a ODI case, then Holland would be best. I still think Christian or McDonald should replace the spinner on most tracks.

Posted by RJHB on (July 4, 2012, 2:20 GMT)

No idea what selectors see in Doherty, at any level. His spin is so so and frankly his batting and fielding don't bring a huge amount more to the table. Can't understand the continued absence of Hauritz while Doherty continues his struggles. He is a proven ODI bowler, well okay maybe proven at state level only, but he bats well and fields much better than Doherty. Ponting isn't even in the ODI team anymore so whats blocking Hauritz playing now? As for the batting, well its not easy to admit but it doesn't seem to matter who the spinner is at the moment for the opposition, Australia are being strangled by a complete lack of foot movement (save for skip) and an inability to sweep regularly and well. India's spinners are rubbish ATM but they'll kill Australia next year. Hate to think what Pakistan could do on friendly surafaces!

Posted by applethief on (July 4, 2012, 1:04 GMT)

@5wombats We do enjoy the banter, but I'm not really sure a one-word rebuttal does much to change the facts of what we all saw in the UAE. Swann only came in 5th because there wasn't a 6th spinner in the series.

Posted by Marcio on (July 4, 2012, 0:26 GMT)

How fickle is the cricketing public! Doherty has been simply excellent for the past two seasons in ODIs. Two average games and people want to put the knife in! I'll keep sayign it again and again. You need to look further back than the last game or two to assess players and teams. It's called the recency effect in psychology. Despite longstanding and repeated success in ODIs people are suddenly writing off excellent players like David Hussey, Watson Warner, Brett Lee and co. This is irrational, to say the least.

Posted by Lmaotsetung on (July 4, 2012, 0:05 GMT)

Swann ended Harbhajan's career last year, although Essex might be thankful to Swanny for doing so...and it looks like he'll be ending Doherty's career this year.

Posted by   on (July 3, 2012, 23:54 GMT)

Actually Swann DOES have an arm ball ('straighter one'),and to say he is worse than Doherty is LAUGHABLE..Pretty much like most of ur posts RandyOZ...Actually i'm kinda surprised your not claiming Swann is South African! ;)

Posted by bobagorof on (July 3, 2012, 23:48 GMT)

I still don't understand why Doherty is in the side. He has an ok record for Tasmania, based on a long 50-over career, and was brought into the side at the expense of Hauritz shortly before the World Cup because the selectors thought a left-armer would be necessary - it all smacked of trying to get Hauritz out. Since then, Australia has found a Test spinner by picking a guy on a few Twenty20 and 50 over matches, but won't play him in the shorter forms where he was first noticed. Meanwhile, Doherty continues with feat-or-famine performances, chipping in with a few wickets just in time to prevent himself getting dropped. Based on that, he's going to get a bag in his next game, right?

Posted by heathrf1974 on (July 3, 2012, 23:41 GMT)

Doherty lacks height. One of the attributes of spin many people forget is the up and down bounce. Turn is good, but it's the amount of bounce from a high bowling action that causes more problems for batsmen. That's what Swann has and Doherty doesn't. I would like to see Lyon have a go for the Aussies.

Posted by Meety on (July 3, 2012, 23:20 GMT)

@landl47 - agreed with most of what you said, although I beleive that Lyon is a class well above Doherty & would do better, however I don't want Lyon playing ODIs for fear he turns into another Harbhajan! I do think Beer has better List A/ODI credentials than Doherty. == == == Dunno what it is about Doherty, but I don't think he has bowled one ball to match the ball he bowled to Kumar Sangakarra on ODI debut. When I saw him bowl that (probably Hilditch thought the same), I thought we had a ripper like Krezja minus the loose stuff. Has not panned out that way, & it genuinely surprises me that his stats are better than Hauritz. Interesting side note - SINCE Doherty's debut in Nov 2010, his S/R is ALMOST the same as Swann's.

Posted by RandyOZ on (July 3, 2012, 23:18 GMT)

Swann has been spanked around for the past year, so it's fairly obvious Doherty is the far better spinner. Since prematurely releasing a book with less than 150 test wickets, Swann is still below 200. @5wombats - how can you comment on the Pakistan or SL series? You were completely absent for both. @jimmy2s is spot on.

Posted by Behind_the_bowlers_arm on (July 3, 2012, 22:11 GMT)

Swann is an experienced international bowler with 180 odd Test wickets (approx 520 behind Warne , maximum6, not a WHOLE lot worse eh?) while Doherty has played 2 Tests. Although i thought he bowled well in the tri-series against India and SL earlier in the year he obviously isnt at the level of Swann and is unlikely to be i imagine. Nathan Lyon is another matter. He has had a good steady start to his Test career with 40 odd wickets at 27 in 13 Tests and looks to be a quick learner.

Posted by landl47 on (July 3, 2012, 22:09 GMT)

As usual, a bunch of comments going overboard on one side or the other. The article doesn't help by dragging in Shane Warne. As I've said often, Warne was the best bowler, counting pace bowlers as well as spin, I've ever seen and no-one should be compared with him. Swann has been consistently good over the last 4 years, as his figures show (16 wickets in 2 games against Sri Lanka, Jimmy2s/Srinivas- yes, he really struggled over there) and given the wickets he plays on in England he's done everything that a finger-spinner could hope to do. He's not Warne, but then, no-one is. Doherty is finding that it's really hard for spinners over here in cool, wet conditions where the ball doesn't turn much. England has a plan against him and it's worked. I don't think Lyon, Beer, Hauritz or anyone else would have done much better. He hasn't been taken apart and that's probably as much as could be hoped in the circumstances. They are both decent bowlers playing in difficult conditions, that's all.

Posted by   on (July 3, 2012, 21:35 GMT)

Doherty had been playing for 10 years when he played his first test. He had less than 100 wickets and an average of 48. These are the stats of a part timer, or net bowler.

Posted by 5wombats on (July 3, 2012, 21:00 GMT)

Swann. Doherty in the same sentence? Can't happen.

Posted by 5wombats on (July 3, 2012, 20:57 GMT)

@jimmy2s on (July 03 2012, 17:44 PM GMT). Rubbish.

Posted by   on (July 3, 2012, 20:51 GMT)

I cannot believe that the two spinners are compared, instead of Australian batsmen focussing on improving footwork and milking Swann for more runs. Why is this Australian team showing such loosing spirit? Watch videos of Praveen Kumar hammering Swann in one of the tests or Samuels taking him at will. Just a piece of advice, do not go and play anywhere in the sub-continent (especially Bangladesh). The guy does not even have a straighter one (forget the doosra) against right handed batsmen, lol....

Posted by Shan156 on (July 3, 2012, 20:47 GMT)

@Merzy Merchant, since when is Harbhajan a great? He is a poor spinner outside India. It is not just in England that he has had a torrid time - he has had a tough time in Australia, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, almost everywhere.

Posted by 2.14istherunrate on (July 3, 2012, 19:59 GMT)

Mr Swann is an exceedingly fine bowler. Alas randyoz the writing is certainly starting to show up on the wall for you guys,hahahha etc.Ever wondered if your words would come back to haunt you like a stampede of running bulls!! Still I shall wait a while to put the boot in- a moment I shall savour massively!!!As i posted recently Swann''s test figures are really not a whole worse than Warne's.

Posted by AdrianVanDenStael on (July 3, 2012, 19:14 GMT)

A major problem with comparing Swann and Doherty's fortunes now to those of Warne and Tufnell in 1993 is that Tufnell was dropped in part not because of being outperformed by Warne but by a fellow English spinner in his own team (Peter Such, back in the news recently, who bowled well and took what would remain his best test figures in Warne's "ball of the century" test at Old Trafford in 1993, which was also Such's debut). In contrast, I don't think even the most severe critic of Doherty would claim that he is being dramatically outshone by Steve Smith ..

Posted by sonicattack on (July 3, 2012, 18:28 GMT)

Methinks that this Australian team is spending too much time talking, perhaps they should be concentrating a little more on their cricket rather than commentating on the England team..

Posted by Ncnotorious on (July 3, 2012, 18:28 GMT)

England has that as a plan vs opposing spinners...while Swann bowled well without wickets, England made an effort to score off Narine, and did

Posted by Front-Foot-Lunge on (July 3, 2012, 17:59 GMT)

'Swann puts Doherty in the Shade..' Why is this even mentioned? Swann laid waste to Doherty in the Ashes, showing again that he's a far superior bowler isn't news to anyone. Just ask any Australian batsman.

Posted by petethehippy on (July 3, 2012, 17:49 GMT)

Not exactly proposing the theory of relativity here?! Swann consistently ranked in the top bowlers in the world over the last 5 years, playing on home turf against Doherty, who has struggled to justify his place in a national team that is struggling to re-assert itself. Does this article aim to present expert opinion or simply state the obvious with some gratuitous player quotes. Failed in the former and passed in the latter.

No question, Doherty has a lot to improve on and the Australian batting needs to work on their approach to Swann. They'll want to be more successful than previous English attempts to work on their approach to Warne.

Posted by applethief on (July 3, 2012, 17:44 GMT)

Good for Swann having a chance to shine. He was comprehensively outbowled all winter in spin-friendly conditions, so now it's his turn to show how it's done in his backyard. People were talking about Swann v Ajmal, when in reality, Swann was out-performed by even his team-mate Monty. In the UAE, he came out fifth behind Rehman and Hafeez as well, and Herath was far superior to him in the Sri Lankan tests. Doherty's not much of a challenge though, I can't see him lasting in this side

Posted by   on (July 3, 2012, 17:37 GMT)

They shud try Hauritz n lyon once ....

Posted by hhillbumper on (July 3, 2012, 17:31 GMT)

Did Randy Oz really post what I thought he did.I am off to lie down to recover.It can't be irony unless all of his posts have been

Posted by   on (July 3, 2012, 17:08 GMT)

I'm an aussie, and I know that we are stuffed in this series. England are superior in all fields of cricket. Guess 2010-2020 is going to be england's reign.

Posted by StoneRose on (July 3, 2012, 17:06 GMT)

Haha Randy0Z! Nice one. I note the zero not the 'o'.

Posted by praveen4honestremark on (July 3, 2012, 16:58 GMT)

Swann Swann Swann...This guy didn't get enough treatment from Asian Batsman so again portraying him as legend to game. In India even local domestic players can hit Swann, the Swan out of park.

Posted by yorkshirematt on (July 3, 2012, 16:57 GMT)

@RandyOZ You've changed your tune! I thought Swann was overrated and Nathan Lyon was going to be the new Warne!

Posted by spence1324 on (July 3, 2012, 16:57 GMT)

@Randyoz, check the Adelaide oval house keeping staff you mite find one there!

Posted by whatawicket on (July 3, 2012, 16:56 GMT)

chris campling name me a spinner in odi cricket that gets as you say gets hatsfulls of wickets anywere in the world. if you can it will not be in england.

Posted by LALITHKURUWITA on (July 3, 2012, 16:14 GMT)

Aussies are feeling the pressure. Before the series start, Aussies were criticizing POMS batting depth. Now Aussies are looking at their own problems. This is a good sign for Aussies to improve and probably even win this series.

Posted by 2.14istherunrate on (July 3, 2012, 16:09 GMT)

Tufnell was quite a good bowler. I am not sure Doherty is.

Posted by JG2704 on (July 3, 2012, 16:09 GMT)

Swann is a superb thinking bowler. If he had the variations of some of the other top spinners he's be near enough unplayable

Posted by jmcilhinney on (July 3, 2012, 15:29 GMT)

There's been quite a lot of criticism of Doherty so far this tour but I'm not sure that it's completely warranted. I don't think that there's any doubt that England is as hard a place as anywhere in the cricket world for a spinner to have a major impact on a game. It's a credit to Swann that he has been as successful as he has under such unhelpful conditions. We all saw what happened to Sunil Narine recently in England and he was all over the Aussie batsmen in the Caribbean previously. Some people are saying that Nathan Lyon would do a better job but I'm not convinced. Swann is said to have bowled poorly in the Test series in the UAE recently but Lyon is yet to have a series with a better average and strike rate than Swann did there, even on the spin-friendly surfaces of SL and WI. That said, I think one reason that Swann does well is that he bowls more like a Test spinner than a lot of others, who bowl more to contain than take wickets. Lyon may be in that mould too.

Posted by   on (July 3, 2012, 14:44 GMT)

that's funny - i was going to post about how unsuccessful swan has been this summer. he keeps the runs down, yes, but where are the hatsful of wickets?

Posted by R_U_4_REAL_NICK on (July 3, 2012, 14:41 GMT)

...and there's a very simple solution: DROP DOHERT FOR LYON OR HAURITZ! Bailey's 'problems' are somewhat easier to overcome.

Posted by Randy0Z on (July 3, 2012, 14:31 GMT)

I'd kill for a class bowler like Swann in our team.

Posted by whatawicket on (July 3, 2012, 14:25 GMT)

well as your article alludes doherty is probably the 3rd/4th best spinner in oz and is like a lot england have tried over the years 1 who spins it so little and tries to bowl tight. what i find amazing is when they have the greatest spinner in world cricket in Lyon but they dont bring him over, as i said amazing.

Posted by   on (July 3, 2012, 14:24 GMT)

Absolutely baseless comparison. It is difficult for any bowler to adapt the English conditions. Doherty has just bicycled his way to stay in this Australian-XI line-up. Swanny is already on road to victory with his spinning fingers giving him ample time grip in the English cooly conditon. Even India's great Harbhajan had a torrid time to spin in English conditon. Give time to this left armer never say Die-oherty, a good future bloke for the Australians.

Posted by demon_bowler on (July 3, 2012, 14:20 GMT)

"When Test spots have come up over the last few years it's been a matter of being in the right place at the right time and I don't think this would be any different," Bailey said.

So that explains his innings at the Oval -- he was advertising his Test batting skills, scoring at under 40 an over for most of his innings.

Posted by ozwriter on (July 3, 2012, 14:10 GMT)

this is so funny. bailey speaking as if he deserves to be there. if selection was based on merit, he would be nowhere near the national team. it is a joke how so many substandard players are getting through

Posted by calypsocricket on (July 3, 2012, 14:10 GMT)

After Australia's massive struggle against a West Indian second eleven in the Caribbean, you might think they would learn how to pick a cricket team. Where are the bright prospects like Christian, Ferguson, White, Payne, S.Marsh, instead of Forrest and Bailey ???? What were the selectors thinking????

Posted by   on (July 3, 2012, 14:09 GMT)

SWANNY IS one of the great spin bowler game has produced, there is no comparison between him and dhoerty. It will be insult to world class spinners in general and particular to swanny to compare swanny with doherty.

Posted by RyanHarrisGreatCricketer on (July 3, 2012, 14:06 GMT)

If "they are challenging dohey" he should be good enough to challenge them. Just shows being defensive can help you only for a while. Its a joke that Nathan lyon cant play every format for oz. he is the 2nd best spinner in the world after swann.

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Daniel BrettigClose
Daniel Brettig Assistant editor Daniel Brettig had been a journalist for eight years when he joined ESPNcricinfo, but his fascination with cricket dates back to the early 1990s, when his dad helped him sneak into the family lounge room to watch the end of day-night World Series matches well past bedtime. Unapologetically passionate about indie music and the South Australian Redbacks, Daniel's chief cricketing achievement was to dismiss Wisden Almanack editor Lawrence Booth in the 2010 Ashes press match in Perth - a rare Australian victory that summer.
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