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News

Cox uncertain over role of spinners

Jamie Cox, the Australia selector, says there is still a definite place for spinners in the modern game, but he is unsure what it is

Cricinfo staff
15-Mar-2009

Marcus North is the latest spinner to be employed by Australia © Getty Images
 
Jamie Cox, the Australia selector, says there is still a definite place for spinners in the modern game, but he is unsure what it is. The current slow-bowling tendency in the national team is to use part-timers such as Marcus North and Michael Clarke, and Cox, the former Tasmania opener, said the landscape had altered since he retired in 2006.
"The game for a spin bowler has changed, and changed really fast," Cox said in the Sunday Herald Sun. "There's still a definite role for them, but what is it? Is it the traditional role of slow spin to negate or is it just staying in the contest, getting into the contest by bowling lots of lots of balls and doing the team thing?"
Australia have used the specialists Beau Casson, Jason Krejza, Nathan Hauritz and Cameron White, along with North, Clarke, Simon Katich and Andrew Symonds since Stuart MacGill retired last year. Bryce McGain is currently in South Africa but neither he nor Hauritz have been used in the opening two Tests.
Cox said a good spinner in Australia would get two or three opportunities in a whole season on a surface that suited them. "It's a very different landscape and we [the national selectors] are getting bashed from pillar to post over it," Cox said.
"But you look at what happens in Perth this year, Brisbane and Bellerive … all the wickets are falling to seam bowlers and batting averages are way down. In the space of five years it's become a completely redefined role and a really tough one."