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This, that and the other. Mostly the other
In the dungeon of the Cricket Australia tower there was a group of men. It wasn't just any men, it was the convict turned guru (Terry Jenner), former compulsive hooker turned compulsive picker (Andrew Hilditch), text sexer and champion legspinner (Shane Warne), the aristocrat with the occasional long-hop (Stuart MacGill), and an Ian Chappell-approved finger spinner (Ashley Mallett). Also there, but saying less, were Jim Higgs, Peter Philpott and Gavin Robertson.
These men teach Australian spinners how to spin.
If you are a young kid from Cobden with a wicked wrong'un, it is one of these men who will guide you. They will show you zooters and arm balls, explain flight and dip, show you how to set your field, and tell you how to ignore your captain's advice.
So when they emerged from that dungeon and announced to the world that they would not teach the doosra, as they deemed it on the wrong side of 15%, it appeared that there was little chance of an Australian bowling it. The men never mentioned that as none of them could bowl it, perhaps they couldn't teach it anyway.
Then only a few weeks ago, Jason Krejza bowled one. Veteran Australian radio commentator Jim Maxwell said it hit a crack, Ed Cowan, who was playing in the game, said it hit the footmarks; and the news quickly spread: an Australian bowled an unplayable doosra. Nathan Hauritz then said he had one, but people ignored him.
Australians have the most hardline attitude to chucking, and with help of the men in the dungeon they have decided that the doosra is an illegitimate delivery. I couldn't possibly explain Australia's hardline to chucking in this post (it needs a book of it's own, so if you are a publisher…), but I will say that Australia are just as harsh on their own potential chuckers as they are on those they suspect internationally, like Jenny Gunn, Johan Botha and Murali. Ian Meckiff, Troy Corbett, and now Aaron Bird will attest to this.
On the other side of the ledger was the fact that since Warne left the scene the Australian spin department has turned into a lucky dip. So someone who can spin the ball both ways, who has taken a Test 12-wicket haul, would be a great help to a currently average Test side.
This left the Australian public with a dilemma: stay true to their hatred of chucking, or get a Test match spinner with a real weapon. This stage didn't last long, luckily. Tim Coyle, Krejza's coach at Tasmania, stood up and made everyone feel better: "It is not a doosra, it is as simple as that".
Coyle went on to say, "Jason Krejza has a special delivery that can't be compared with a bent-elbow doosra. People need to go and have a look at what he bowls. He bowls this ball that goes the other way exactly the same way as his offbreak, so to me it is not a doosra."
Thank you, Tim Coyle. Of course it isn't a doosra. How silly. It is an as-yet-unnamed mystery ball. Australian fans all let out a sigh of relief.
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