Legendary spin-wizard Shane Warne is undeniably the face of Australia’s collection of spinners that they have produced over these years. Hence, his retirement in early 2006 opened up a massive hole in their bowling line-up in terms of spin. In one of the launch events, Shane Warne advocated for Cricket Australia to push to improve the quality of spinners in their country.
Ever since the Victorian bid adieu to international cricket in the last to last decade, Australia tried a host of spinners. The likes of Nathan Hauritz, Jason Krejza, Xavier Doherty, Jon Holland, Steve’O Keefe and Michael Beer came through. However, none of them could prove as efficient and consistent as Warne. Having claimed 708 wickets in 145 Tests, the leggie Warne is the second-highest wicket-taker in the format.
To improve the quality of spinners and due to the increase in drop-in wickets, Warne emphasised pushing spin-bowlers to play more, regardless of the nature of the wicket. Shane Warne recommended that every state team must be forced into picking at least one spinner in a first-class game, showing concerns about the decline of quality spinners in the country. He placed due responsibility on the states to pick one frontline spinner in every game.
“A spinner should play every single game, no matter what the conditions are like, so that particular spinners can learn how to bowl on day one or day four. At the moment, they (states) only pick them when the conditions suit.
“How are they going to learn if you don’t allow them to play state cricket? There has to be a responsibility on the states to pick one specialist spinner in every game. And if they don’t, well maybe Cricket Australia has to step in. Otherwise spin bowling will go downhill, and is going downhill fast.” Warne said as quoted by India Today.
Shane Warne wants a backup for Nathan Lyon:
Aside from the spin-bowlers mentioned above, Nathan Lyon has emerged as the most consistent and prolific one. Having debuted in Test cricket in 2011, Lyon has nearly 390 wickets under his belt in 96 fixtures. He is also the most successful off-spinner in Australia. At 32, the New South Wales-bowler is heading towards the twilight of his career.
Warne admires Lyon and cites that Australia is fortunate to have him; however, he questions the lack of a second-fiddle. The 50-year old fears that if in case of an injury to the veteran, there are spinners with a minimal first-class experience. He feels that there are capable spinners in Australia, but Cricket Australia needs to give them opportunities.
“Nathan Lyon is one of the best spinners in the world, and we’re so lucky to have a great spinner in Lyon. If something happened to him, we’ve got a spinner with very little first class experience that could be up against some of the best players in the world of spin. We have some good spinners in Australia, but they’re not getting the opportunities. Cricket Australia should maybe put some pressure on the states and say, ‘You have to pick one specialist spinner in your team every time.” Shane Warne stated further.