December 13, 2010

Not quite in Warne's footsteps

Eleven Australian spinners who struggled to stand in the shadow of the Great One
  shares 29

Stuart MacGill
Probably the unluckiest of the lot: MacGill could have been an all-time great if his career hadn't collided with Warne's. He still took 208 Test wickets at less than 30 apiece, and often outperformed the great man when they played together. When Warne retired early in 2007, MacGill looked set for a few years in the side without looking over his shoulder - but he was already 36, and injuries got the better of him: he retired abruptly in the middle of a Test in the West Indies the following June.

Michael Beer
The selection of Michael Beer in the squad for the third Ashes Test at Perth was Australia's biggest selectorial bolt from the blue since legspinner John Watkins was whistled up in 1972-73 - he'd also previously played only five first-class matches and didn't have a five-for to his name. Slow left-armer Beer, 26, moved from Victoria to Western Australia this season, and has so far taken just 16 first-class wickets at 39.93. Of those, 11 have come in three matches at the WACA at 42.45 - hardly compelling evidence to choose him ahead of the spurned Nathan Hauritz, who has played more matches in Perth, and taken more wickets at a better average (15 at 33.80 in five games, with a best of 5 for 39).

Xavier Doherty
A bowling average of 48 in a first-class career spanning nearly ten years didn't seem to suggest that Xavier Doherty was a world-beater ... and his performances in the first two Tests of the 2010-11 Ashes series lived down to that reputation. He took three wickets for 306, and was promptly dropped: not many are placing bets on a recall. Doherty may have been included because of Kevin Pietersen's recent failings against slow left-armers, and it's true that he did get KP out in Adelaide ... after he'd made 227.

Jason Krejza
Seemed definitely to be one to watch when he took 8 for 215 - and 12 wickets in the match - on his debut, against India in Nagpur in November 2008 ... but he didn't play in Australia's next Test, and has won only one cap since. "Krazy" Krejza is still wheeling down his offspinners for Tasmania, but still proving costly: in 2009-10 his 18 first-class wickets cost more than 50 runs apiece.

Bryce McGain
The affable McGain was almost 37 when, early in 2009, he became Australia's oldest Test debutant for 24 years - since another legspinner, Bob Holland. But McGain's Test career was short, and not very sweet: targeted from the start by the South Africans - Ashwell Prince hit his second ball for six, and seven more flew over the ropes later on - McGain finished with none for 149 from 18 ragged overs in Cape Town. Australia lost by an innings, and poor McGain hasn't looked like adding to his baggy-green collection since. He's still playing, though, and in 2010 briefly turned out for Essex.

Nathan Hauritz
Hauritz made a surprise debut in India in 2004 when Warne broke a finger on the eve of the Mumbai Test - and that seemed to be it, as later he drifted out of the Queensland side then, after a move to Sydney, the NSW team too. But he got a surprise Test recall at the end of 2008, despite not being a Shield regular, and did better than many expected in the following year's Ashes series. Successive five-fors against Pakistan in Melbourne and Sydney seemed to answer criticism that he didn't take enough wickets - but then a mauling in India put the selectors off, and Hauritz was rudely dumped for the start of the Ashes series despite his domestic form (14 wickets at 26 in the ongoing Shield season) being better than most of his rivals.

Steve Smith
He's a blond legspinner ... but the Warne comparisons stop there, for the moment at least. Smith is more of a roller - if less roly-poly - than Warnie, and he may well end up being a better batsman than bowler: his first two Tests, against Pakistan in England in 2010, produced just three wickets, and a fine innings of 77. But he's still only 21, and in March 2010 took 7 for 64 for NSW against South Australia. His time may come... soon.

Brad Hogg
International cricket's favourite ex-postman - he used to run through his postal rounds to get fit - chinaman bowler Hogg was another who might have benefited from Warne's retirement. Hogg had played one Test in India in 1996, as Warne recovered from finger surgery - legend has it he'd waited half his life to hear Ian Healy growl "Bowled, Hoggy" from behind the stumps, then bowled so badly that it never happened - then later became a one-day regular, especially useful at World Cups (he took 13 wickets in 2003, and 21 in the West Indies in 2007). But he never quite nailed down a Test place, and little over a year after Warne bowed out Hogg announced his retirement too, after three disappointing Tests at home against India in 2007-08. He's now trying his hand at delivering TV commentary.

Jon Holland
Slow left-armer Holland was only 22, with only four Shield games for Victoria under his belt, when he was chosen for Australia's one-day squad for a tour of India late in 2009. Stuart MacGill said he looked a "naturally gifted bowler" and ought to be given a game: the selectors, not for the first time, didn't agree with MacGill. Holland didn't play an international match on the tour ... and still hasn't. So far in 2010-11 he's taken six first-class wickets - the same as he managed in the whole of last season.

Cameron White
White was another initially viewed as a Warne clone - he's blond, solid, and comes from Victoria. But he was never in the same class as a spinner, as he himself admitted, and doesn't bowl much at all these days - last season he took just two first-class wickets, and has none at all so far this term. The late David Hookes, during his time as Victoria's coach, thought White was more likely to gain a Test spot as a batsman, but although he has cemented a spot in Australia's limited-overs teams, White has so far been restricted to four Tests, all in India in 2008-09, when he took five wickets and failed to reach 50. His captaincy has its admirers, though.

Beau Casson
Test cricket's only Beau had a seemingly ideal start to his Test career - slow left-arm chinaman bowler Casson took three wickets on his debut, in Bridgetown in 2008, as West Indies were beaten to clinch the series (he made the side after MacGill's sudden retirement in the middle of the previous Test). But since then it's been a depressingly familiar tale, as Casson - who has a heart problem that is checked regularly - has struggled for impact at state level. He took 29 first-class wickets in 2007-08 - but managed only seven (at 91) the following year, and has played only once since.

Steven Lynch is the editor of the Cricinfo Guide to International Cricket 2011. And Ask Steven is now on Facebook

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • The_Lethal_1 on December 15, 2010, 22:18 GMT

    I am still gobsmacked that Hauritz isn't in the side. I feel for the bloke. He has done a pretty good job for Australia in the last two years and because of one bad tour against India in India he is discarded like a piece of rubbish. He has a great record in Australia, has proven that he troubles Cook and Strauss and pretty economical for an off spinner. I just feel that Hauritz hasn't helped himself as much as he could have. Before the start of the last Australian summer there was talk that he was working on his doosra but I have never seen him bowl it yet. Still, Beer will prove to be another addition to this list no doubt and once Hilditch is sacked, hopefull Hauritz will get another go.

  • on December 14, 2010, 11:35 GMT

    i agree with nuxxy. this whole thing that seems like a never ending mess for australia, could be solved by having a couple of guys in charge of the team. but guys that make it simple for everyone. some people just have this knack of putting everything in perspective. and then onwards you think it was so simple.

    AB did it before. bob simpson. they do have guys like that. wht is hard to understand is this fixation with technology, countless coaches. experts.

    of course. i suppose its too much to expect them to ask warne to be with the team as a mentor.

  • on December 14, 2010, 11:35 GMT

    i agree with nuxxy. this whole thing that seems like a never ending mess for australia, could be solved by having a couple of guys in charge of the team. but guys that make it simple for everyone. some people just have this knack of putting everything in perspective. and then onwards you think it was so simple.

    AB did it before. bob simpson. they do have guys like that. wht is hard to understand is this fixation with technology, countless coaches. experts.

    of. i suppose its too much to expect them to ask warne to be with the team as a mentor.

  • on December 14, 2010, 11:23 GMT

    I can't get over this world-wide misguide opinion that Warne is the 'greatest bowler ever'. Are there that many people in the world who don't undertsand the game of cricket? Sure Warne was a great bowler but did he really win more test matches for Australia than Glenn McGrath, Steve Waugh, Ricky Ponting, Adam Gilchrist ? You need to take 20 wickets to win a test - there's plenty of teams who have done that and still lost - but cricket is won by the team that scores the most runs. It is obvious that Australia had a great team in the Warne era in which the batsmen made enough runs to put scoreboard pressure on opponents - allowing the bowlers enough time and space to do their work. Plus they had the great McGrath who dominated Lara and Tendulkar and basically the best player in every team like Warne never did. McGrath made the greats look average. Warne made the average look mediocre. As Mr. Lynch alludes, did anyone ever Notice Warne missing when Macgill played for Australia ? No !

  • on December 14, 2010, 11:21 GMT

    i agree with nuxxy. this whole thing that seems like a never ending mess for australia, could be solved by having a couple of guys in charge of the team. but guys that make it simple for everyone. some people just have this knack of putting everything in perspective. and then onwards you think it was so simple.

    AB did it before. bob simpson. they do have guys like that. wht is hard to understand is this fixation with technology, countless coaches. experts.

    of. i suppose its too much to expect them to ask warne to be with the team as a mentor.

  • on December 14, 2010, 7:45 GMT

    Australian selector's room is resembling like a slaughter house these days. Hauritz is my pick and stick to him till someone else shows better solid credentials and selectors must leave hopeless optimism behind and be realistic.

  • tikna on December 14, 2010, 5:29 GMT

    One of the common theme that runs almost through is that most bowlers either retired or were made to look worse then their talent deserves against India.

    May be Aus should not consider a spinners performance against India and then judge the guy

  • pejapla on December 14, 2010, 0:14 GMT

    Warnie had in incredible self belief that frightened batsmen and set a protocol for current cricketers who now understand that spinners need to be attacked.

  • Meety on December 13, 2010, 21:06 GMT

    @george204 -true. @Nadeem1976, mate please read up names listed by George204, you show a fair bit of ignorance. Don't forget a great Leggie like MacGill was playing at the same time as Warne! @nuxxy - IF they had any sense!!!!! @c5nv2838a47i- ditto! @Khawaja Ikram Ul Haq - I had the highest regard for MacGill but are you saying he was a better spinner or just that MacGill spun the ball further? MacGill had a better "wrong un" & did spin the ball further then Warne, but did not have the "in-swinging drift" or range of turn. Still - wish he was not injured & retired. @Dave Bremner - I assume you mean that we won't great spinners because of the way the first class structure is in Oz? To that end I think that either the ACT or NT be added to our first class structure. I prefer NT - as the Darwin ground seems to be somewhat sub-continental & therefor more spin friendly - it would also be a good base for Indian tours.

  • dsig3 on December 13, 2010, 18:31 GMT

    @chaithan: Brian Lara said it best about Warne. He was easier to face than Murali but was a better bowler. If measuring a legspinners ability by the amount of turn and variations then McGill wins every time. Unfortunately its not a about that. If I wanted someone to bowl for my life in a pressure situation with a batsmen on 200, I'd pick warne every day of the week. Alot of Indian fans on here are belittling warne at every opportunity. I really dont understand why I could belittle SRT because he plays on featherbeds 90% of the time.

  • The_Lethal_1 on December 15, 2010, 22:18 GMT

    I am still gobsmacked that Hauritz isn't in the side. I feel for the bloke. He has done a pretty good job for Australia in the last two years and because of one bad tour against India in India he is discarded like a piece of rubbish. He has a great record in Australia, has proven that he troubles Cook and Strauss and pretty economical for an off spinner. I just feel that Hauritz hasn't helped himself as much as he could have. Before the start of the last Australian summer there was talk that he was working on his doosra but I have never seen him bowl it yet. Still, Beer will prove to be another addition to this list no doubt and once Hilditch is sacked, hopefull Hauritz will get another go.

  • on December 14, 2010, 11:35 GMT

    i agree with nuxxy. this whole thing that seems like a never ending mess for australia, could be solved by having a couple of guys in charge of the team. but guys that make it simple for everyone. some people just have this knack of putting everything in perspective. and then onwards you think it was so simple.

    AB did it before. bob simpson. they do have guys like that. wht is hard to understand is this fixation with technology, countless coaches. experts.

    of course. i suppose its too much to expect them to ask warne to be with the team as a mentor.

  • on December 14, 2010, 11:35 GMT

    i agree with nuxxy. this whole thing that seems like a never ending mess for australia, could be solved by having a couple of guys in charge of the team. but guys that make it simple for everyone. some people just have this knack of putting everything in perspective. and then onwards you think it was so simple.

    AB did it before. bob simpson. they do have guys like that. wht is hard to understand is this fixation with technology, countless coaches. experts.

    of. i suppose its too much to expect them to ask warne to be with the team as a mentor.

  • on December 14, 2010, 11:23 GMT

    I can't get over this world-wide misguide opinion that Warne is the 'greatest bowler ever'. Are there that many people in the world who don't undertsand the game of cricket? Sure Warne was a great bowler but did he really win more test matches for Australia than Glenn McGrath, Steve Waugh, Ricky Ponting, Adam Gilchrist ? You need to take 20 wickets to win a test - there's plenty of teams who have done that and still lost - but cricket is won by the team that scores the most runs. It is obvious that Australia had a great team in the Warne era in which the batsmen made enough runs to put scoreboard pressure on opponents - allowing the bowlers enough time and space to do their work. Plus they had the great McGrath who dominated Lara and Tendulkar and basically the best player in every team like Warne never did. McGrath made the greats look average. Warne made the average look mediocre. As Mr. Lynch alludes, did anyone ever Notice Warne missing when Macgill played for Australia ? No !

  • on December 14, 2010, 11:21 GMT

    i agree with nuxxy. this whole thing that seems like a never ending mess for australia, could be solved by having a couple of guys in charge of the team. but guys that make it simple for everyone. some people just have this knack of putting everything in perspective. and then onwards you think it was so simple.

    AB did it before. bob simpson. they do have guys like that. wht is hard to understand is this fixation with technology, countless coaches. experts.

    of. i suppose its too much to expect them to ask warne to be with the team as a mentor.

  • on December 14, 2010, 7:45 GMT

    Australian selector's room is resembling like a slaughter house these days. Hauritz is my pick and stick to him till someone else shows better solid credentials and selectors must leave hopeless optimism behind and be realistic.

  • tikna on December 14, 2010, 5:29 GMT

    One of the common theme that runs almost through is that most bowlers either retired or were made to look worse then their talent deserves against India.

    May be Aus should not consider a spinners performance against India and then judge the guy

  • pejapla on December 14, 2010, 0:14 GMT

    Warnie had in incredible self belief that frightened batsmen and set a protocol for current cricketers who now understand that spinners need to be attacked.

  • Meety on December 13, 2010, 21:06 GMT

    @george204 -true. @Nadeem1976, mate please read up names listed by George204, you show a fair bit of ignorance. Don't forget a great Leggie like MacGill was playing at the same time as Warne! @nuxxy - IF they had any sense!!!!! @c5nv2838a47i- ditto! @Khawaja Ikram Ul Haq - I had the highest regard for MacGill but are you saying he was a better spinner or just that MacGill spun the ball further? MacGill had a better "wrong un" & did spin the ball further then Warne, but did not have the "in-swinging drift" or range of turn. Still - wish he was not injured & retired. @Dave Bremner - I assume you mean that we won't great spinners because of the way the first class structure is in Oz? To that end I think that either the ACT or NT be added to our first class structure. I prefer NT - as the Darwin ground seems to be somewhat sub-continental & therefor more spin friendly - it would also be a good base for Indian tours.

  • dsig3 on December 13, 2010, 18:31 GMT

    @chaithan: Brian Lara said it best about Warne. He was easier to face than Murali but was a better bowler. If measuring a legspinners ability by the amount of turn and variations then McGill wins every time. Unfortunately its not a about that. If I wanted someone to bowl for my life in a pressure situation with a batsmen on 200, I'd pick warne every day of the week. Alot of Indian fans on here are belittling warne at every opportunity. I really dont understand why I could belittle SRT because he plays on featherbeds 90% of the time.

  • rohanbala on December 13, 2010, 11:10 GMT

    Gavin Robertson (off spinner) who made his test debut against India in 1998 does not find a place in the list of spinners "who struggled to stand in the shadow of the Great One"......

  • Sehwagology on December 13, 2010, 9:50 GMT

    I agree with Nadeem. Warne was by some distance the greatest cricketer of his generation and probably the greatest bowler in cricket's long and illustrious history. He is not a once-in-a-generation cricketer - he is a once-in-a-century cricketer! He is simply irreplaceable. Australia must select a balanced attack in which the spinner is expected to play a contributory but not necessarily match winning role. The spinner should be expected to chip in with wickets and if he gets use of a wearing fourth or fifth day pitch then help bowl his side to victory. Krejza was very harshly treated - he showed promise in India, could actually spin and flight the ball and most importantly was an attacking option. Australia's most sensible selection now would be to invest in Smith, show some patience and hope he fulfils his promise. Remember it took Swann a long time to fulfil his potential and despite his current success no one still expects him to run the through the opposition like Warne.

  • chaithan on December 13, 2010, 9:15 GMT

    I think MacGill got a poor deal. If his career hadn't clashed with Warne's, I am sure he would have become a legend. I bet he would have taken more wickets than what Warne managed (admittedly at a higher average). I found MacGill a more exciting bowler than Warne, even if he conceded more runs per over. I am still not able to figure out why Australia never played him and Warne alongside each other, at least in the subcontinent if not everywhere.

  • Markdal on December 13, 2010, 9:06 GMT

    Thomas, my thoughts exactly. I thought White could have replaced North, with an eye to Ponting's replacement, and if he had to, ne could still bowl handy overs. When White did get the nod in Tests, he was used as a specialist #8, because Ponting put no faith in either his batting or his bowling. Now, he's the best captain in Australia, and one of the most dominant batsmen. I'm no fan of Victorians as a rule but, this guy has what it takes.

  • on December 13, 2010, 8:08 GMT

    Australia should choose and stick with whilst mentoring Steve Smith, much as the selectors (Bradman, Ryder and Seddon) did with Richie Benaud yonks ago. He will grow into the role. It would take something like 3 or 4 years to completely master the art of accurate leg spinning anyhow.

  • on December 13, 2010, 7:49 GMT

    Nadeem you are spot on. We should be looking for a spinner to bowl some overs so the quicks can rest, much like Tim May used to do. There is no point trying to find a spinner capable of taking 6 and 7 for, because in Australia - this just won't happen. Hauritz is the best spinner in Australia at the moment and should be playing.

  • Digimont on December 13, 2010, 7:39 GMT

    I'd take McGill off this list, he was world class in any other team, any other time. Hardly a failure, he also didn't really follow in his footsteps, he walked astride.

    You have forgotten Dan Cullen (haven't we all)?

  • reeksrok on December 13, 2010, 7:38 GMT

    I think they need to have a cameron white in the tests. He is still suspect against swing bowling and good turners but with his good attacking captaincy and brutal strength, he can be more than useful than a north and can challenge clarke for runs and captaincy.

  • on December 13, 2010, 7:30 GMT

    copycat spinners rarely succeed...smith even copies warnes round arm action...but warne could easily identify the batsmens weaknesses and bowl accordingly...a rare spininng feat..i suppose only mcgill was a better spinner than warne...to be a great spinner one must be unique in some way or otherwise batsmen can easily cover their bowling...i think left armer o'keefe has teh skill and can take wickets...otherwise australia would be better off playing five seamers...dont play a spinnner so that he can cover your batting weaknesses...the top five or six must bat responsibly...

  • Charindra on December 13, 2010, 7:25 GMT

    Ok, everybody who's going on about Warne's greatness, did you know that in his 1st 3 innings he had figures of 1/150, 0/78, 0/107? Most of the spinners listed here have had better starts than this.

    I just wonder if they were given as many opportunities as Warne was, wouldn't one of them have cemented his place in the side as the main spinner?? Warne was really good, but he could so easily have ended up as another "also ran".

  • george204 on December 13, 2010, 7:08 GMT

    Nadeem1976, I suppose you've never heard of Bill O'Reilly or Clarrie Grimmet? How about Bert Ironmonger, Chuck Fleetwood-Smith, Arthur Mailey, Richie Benaud or Terry Jenner?

    You are correct though that Warne was a once-in-a-lifetime (or longer!) cricketer. Australia's best bet would have been to pick the most "solid" rather than "spectacular" spinner that they have & use him to tie up an end - a bit like England did with Ashley Giles. No, it's not glamourous, but it was the best they had. Hauritz is actually a better bowler than Giles anyway.

    Also, the large number of spinners in this list who have later struggled to keep a first class place has a lot to do with pitches in Aus. They seem to have got a lot flatter & blander than in the past. It's spinners that really get hurt by excessively batsmen friendly conditions...

  • Chris_Howard on December 13, 2010, 7:03 GMT

    The selectors need to stop looking for the next Warne and pick a couple of decent guys to invest in. Expecting every new spinner they try, to be a match winner like Warnie is just placing way too much pressure on them.

  • c5nv2838a47i on December 13, 2010, 6:46 GMT

    I'm still looking forward to Steve O'Keefe's Test debut.

  • Nuxxy on December 13, 2010, 6:16 GMT

    If the Australian board had any sense, they would a) pay Warne to mentor Smith, and b) appoint a new captain who is good with tactics and men, especially with spinners.

  • Nadeem1976 on December 13, 2010, 6:09 GMT

    Shane warne was last month selected as the 3rd greatest cricketer the world has ever seen. That means he is the best spinner in 130 years history of cricket which also means that players like him can born once in 200 years therefore its near to impossible to stand in his feet/shoes. Do not expect any spinner from australia to be that good becuase they are not famous for spinner. What they are famous for fast bowlers. So in order to get the crown back to australia they need to have reall good quality fast bowlers. Do not expect spinners from australia Warne was majical becuase he was genius so dont try to find which you can never find in australia again.

    If by luck you find that guy then may be it will happen in next 100 years becuase warne was also found after 100 years of cricket.

  • smudgeon on December 13, 2010, 5:07 GMT

    This is an interesting (and depressing) list. You wonder how some of these guys might have turned out if the selectors had shown them a bit more faith and given them a series or two to settle in (although why Cameron White was picked as a specialist for India is the eternal mystery). Of this list, the ones I expected to have done a fairly good job were Hogg, Macgill (by far the best of this bunch), and Krejza - the latter of whom now struggles, like a few other on the list, to hold down a spot in their state team. What could have been! Oh well, we'll see how well Michael Beer does this week!

  • on December 13, 2010, 4:57 GMT

    White should be the next captain instead of clarke....

  • on December 13, 2010, 4:56 GMT

    I'm still in shock that they didn't recall Hauritz. I think it's clear the selector's egos come before the team.

  • Bhatin on December 13, 2010, 4:26 GMT

    Australia either needs to bring back Warne, or may be even Richi Benaud if possible.

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  • Bhatin on December 13, 2010, 4:26 GMT

    Australia either needs to bring back Warne, or may be even Richi Benaud if possible.

  • on December 13, 2010, 4:56 GMT

    I'm still in shock that they didn't recall Hauritz. I think it's clear the selector's egos come before the team.

  • on December 13, 2010, 4:57 GMT

    White should be the next captain instead of clarke....

  • smudgeon on December 13, 2010, 5:07 GMT

    This is an interesting (and depressing) list. You wonder how some of these guys might have turned out if the selectors had shown them a bit more faith and given them a series or two to settle in (although why Cameron White was picked as a specialist for India is the eternal mystery). Of this list, the ones I expected to have done a fairly good job were Hogg, Macgill (by far the best of this bunch), and Krejza - the latter of whom now struggles, like a few other on the list, to hold down a spot in their state team. What could have been! Oh well, we'll see how well Michael Beer does this week!

  • Nadeem1976 on December 13, 2010, 6:09 GMT

    Shane warne was last month selected as the 3rd greatest cricketer the world has ever seen. That means he is the best spinner in 130 years history of cricket which also means that players like him can born once in 200 years therefore its near to impossible to stand in his feet/shoes. Do not expect any spinner from australia to be that good becuase they are not famous for spinner. What they are famous for fast bowlers. So in order to get the crown back to australia they need to have reall good quality fast bowlers. Do not expect spinners from australia Warne was majical becuase he was genius so dont try to find which you can never find in australia again.

    If by luck you find that guy then may be it will happen in next 100 years becuase warne was also found after 100 years of cricket.

  • Nuxxy on December 13, 2010, 6:16 GMT

    If the Australian board had any sense, they would a) pay Warne to mentor Smith, and b) appoint a new captain who is good with tactics and men, especially with spinners.

  • c5nv2838a47i on December 13, 2010, 6:46 GMT

    I'm still looking forward to Steve O'Keefe's Test debut.

  • Chris_Howard on December 13, 2010, 7:03 GMT

    The selectors need to stop looking for the next Warne and pick a couple of decent guys to invest in. Expecting every new spinner they try, to be a match winner like Warnie is just placing way too much pressure on them.

  • george204 on December 13, 2010, 7:08 GMT

    Nadeem1976, I suppose you've never heard of Bill O'Reilly or Clarrie Grimmet? How about Bert Ironmonger, Chuck Fleetwood-Smith, Arthur Mailey, Richie Benaud or Terry Jenner?

    You are correct though that Warne was a once-in-a-lifetime (or longer!) cricketer. Australia's best bet would have been to pick the most "solid" rather than "spectacular" spinner that they have & use him to tie up an end - a bit like England did with Ashley Giles. No, it's not glamourous, but it was the best they had. Hauritz is actually a better bowler than Giles anyway.

    Also, the large number of spinners in this list who have later struggled to keep a first class place has a lot to do with pitches in Aus. They seem to have got a lot flatter & blander than in the past. It's spinners that really get hurt by excessively batsmen friendly conditions...

  • Charindra on December 13, 2010, 7:25 GMT

    Ok, everybody who's going on about Warne's greatness, did you know that in his 1st 3 innings he had figures of 1/150, 0/78, 0/107? Most of the spinners listed here have had better starts than this.

    I just wonder if they were given as many opportunities as Warne was, wouldn't one of them have cemented his place in the side as the main spinner?? Warne was really good, but he could so easily have ended up as another "also ran".