This sight has to become a more common occurrence for Australian spinners
If you were to ask someone who the main spinners in the current Australian team are, they would probably tell you Nathan Lyon or Xavier Doherty, but the most important question is will any of these two bowlers or, for a matter of fact, any of the spin bowlers the country produces in the future emerge to become the next spin king.
Since Shane Warne, Australia’s greatest ever spin bowler, retired in 2007, the country has failed to produce even one world-class spinner, and perhaps this could be the answer as to why Australia are currently facing a crisis over their depleting stock of spinners.
Some people might say Nathan Lyon is on that path to greatness since he has taken 42 wickets in 13 Test matches at an average of 27.83, however, Lyon has not been at his best as of late, having taken only eight wickets in Australia A’s recent tour to England at an average of 48.75.
So if Lyon is starting to lose some momentum, then who is left to take charge?
Australian selectors see a lot of potential in Jon Holland, which could be a good sign for the national team, but the problem is Australia need to have a variety of spinners, who are accustomed to playing in all three formats and in all types of conditions, to choose from just in case one of the main spinners like Lyon or Doherty sustain an injury.
The question of why spin bowling has become an endangered art in Australia is a fascinating subject that could be the result of many different reasons.
It all starts with the kids wanting to become just like their heroes, but since Warne’s retirement, youngsters have had no one to look up to, and this raises the question of whether they will be interested in bowling spin any more.
With the Australian pace bowling attack continuing to grow, the influence of bowlers such as Peter Siddle, Mitchell Johnson and Mitchell Starc seems to have captivated kids and converted them into wanting to bowl pace rather than spin.
But, with the Australian lineup stocked to the brim with pace bowlers, how do the national selectors decide who makes the cut and who doesn’t, and furthermore, if they do decide to use the rotation policy, then the infrequent number of matches each bowler gets will do more harm than good since most the bowlers will lack in self-confidence and mental strength.
Australia will now be preparing for their upcoming Test series against South Africa, and the national selectors are considering whether to go with four pace bowlers or three pace bowlers and one spinner.
The reason for the majority of the bowling attack being made up of fast bowlers is the simple fact that Australian pitches and conditions are more suited to pace bowling rather than spin.
With this in mind, it could be one of the biggest reasons why Australia is facing a spin crisis.
Kids want to take as many wickets as they can when bowling, and if the conditions are not in their favour, then it is highly likely they are not going to succeed.
In addition, pace bowlers take the majority of wickets during Australia’s home matches and this will have a big influence on kids since they will start to think that fast bowling is the way to go.
Another question that could be raised is how well Australia will cope in the sub-continent, where the pitches and conditions are spin-friendly.
With Australia having a tour of India coming up soon, the main focus will be on how well their spin bowlers perform, but with so few to choose from, many people see them as the underdogs going into the tour since India’s spin duo of Ravichandran Ashwin and Pragyan Ojha have already demonstrated their destructive nature against New Zealand in August.
Cricket Australia need to do something before the crisis gets out of hand, they have to find a way to encourage more youngsters to bowl spin in order for the country to have a bright future and any chance of becoming the top ranked team once again.