Australian spin bowling facing a slow death over four decades

October 22nd, 2009 - 12:58 pm ICT by ANI  

Bryce McGain Sydney, Oct. 22 (ANI): Figures show that slow bowling in Australia is on the decline and a major cause for worry to Cricket Australia and past players.

The percentage of deliveries sent down by spinners in the Sheffield Shield competition has almost halved in the past four decades.

Cricket Australia prepared the figures and presented it to the board’s annual general meeting last week.

Australia has had a lack of depth in spin bowling since Shane Warne left the international stage almost three years ago, but the figures expose an alarming decline since the 1960s, when nearly 45 per cent of deliveries were sent down by spinners, compared with 35 per cent in the 1980s, 31 per cent in the ’90s and about 25 per cent this decade.

Two of the three leading slow bowlers in last season’s Sheffield Shield - Queensland’s Chris Simpson and South Australia’s Aaron O’Brien - were part-timers, redoubling concerns about the nurturing of spinners in the competition that feeds the national teams.

In five of the past 13 Tests, Australia have not picked a spinner, most controversially leaving Hauritz out of the Ashes decider after misreading the pitch at the Oval.

As Bryce McGain said in a recent interview with The Wisden Cricketer magazine, this has been confusing for the nation’s spinners.

‘I was one of the spin bowlers involved in the Australian rotation, and they are now settling that down,’ said the leg-spinner, who was discarded after returning 0-149 in his solitary Test appearance against South Africa.

‘They went with [Jason] Krejza for a while, then Beau Casson, I got an innings, Hauritz for a bit, then not. They have been unsure, and I guess they have realised that that is unsettling. A player needs to have a couple of games, have a good run,” the Sydney Morning Herald quoted McGain, as saying.

Cricket Australia is encouraging first class team captains to make better use of spinners in the revamped second XI competition, with bonus points for wickets that fall to spin, and removing the second new ball option. (ANI)

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