Legendary leg-spinner Shane Warne believes the standard of spin bowling in Australia is ‘going downhill fast’ due to the increase of drop-in wickets in the Sheffield Shield matches. Warne believes Cricket Australia should force the states to pick a spinner in every first-class game to improve the quality of spin bowling in the country.Also Read - Highlights | AUS vs ENG Ashes 5th Test, Day 3 Updates: Australia Win By 146 Runs, Hosts Finish Series 4-0
In Australia’s domestic circuit – the board is spoilt for choices when it comes to picking up worthy pace bowling options for the national side. Whereas, Australia’s spin bowling choices are worryingly limited. None of the Sheffield Shield’s 20 highest wicket-takers during the 2019-20 season were spin bowlers. Also Read - Ricky Ponting Slams Rory Burns For Not Showing Desperation While Taking a Single In Hobart Test
“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,” Warne was quoted as saying by ‘The West Australian’. Also Read - Alana King Grabs Spin Spot In Australia's Ashes Squad
“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, one of the greatest leg-spinners the game has produced, said there is a dearth of quality spinner who can fill in the shoes of Nathan Lyon and urged CA to ensure that states include a spinner in every Sheffield Shield game.
“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,” he said during the launch of Advanced Hair Studio’s new website.
“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.'”
The 50-year-old believes increase in drop-in pitches is making the conditions almost similar, thus affecting the growth of a spinner.
“Once upon a time, every state had completely different conditions. Now, there’s a lot of drop-in pitches Adelaide, Melbourne, Perth is now a drop-in pitch in the new stadium. We’ve got to be careful it’s not too much the same,” said the spin great.
“The states want to win so badly, that sometimes they leave out a spinner, rather than thinking long-term.”
Australia will hope to win their first Test series in the subcontinent in almost a decade when they tour India next April.
Warne hoped Mitchell Swepson, Cameron Boyce, Adam Zampa and Ashton Agar — who he believes with be contenders for Lyon’s subsidiary at Test level — can play as much first-class cricket as possible before the India tour.