A BATTING WITH BIMAL BREAKING REPORT: Should Australia teach their spinners how to bowl the doosra?

Inverarity believes it will be best if Australia continue sticking to the basics

Australia national selector John Inverarity has announced that the country’s integrity will be on the line if they decide to teach their young spinners how to bowl the doosra.

Inverarity called on Cricket Australia to ensure that the spinners stick to the basics of flight and turn instead of focusing on how to bowl all these mystery deliveries.

“The question is being asked now about ‘do we develop the doosra bowlers or not’. That’s a question of integrity for Cricket Australia. I don’t think we do, I just think it’s a serious issue, and I think we’ve got to keep our integrity and teach our bowlers to bowl properly,” Inverarity said.

However, Inverarity’s views are not shared by the majority of Australian spinners, who are tired of watching international bowlers like Pakistan’s Saeed Ajmal and the West Indies’ Sunil Narine make effective use of deliveries like the doosra, while they continue bowling the same type of balls over and over again.

This was definitely the feeling amongst the spinners in the International Cricket Council (ICC) World Twenty20 and captain George Bailey was quick to get behind them and support their cause.

During a 2009 spin summit at the Centre of Excellence in Brisbane, spin coaches, some of which included the late Terry Jenner and Ashley Mallett all agreed that the doosra should not be taught to young Australian bowlers since it could not be delivered legally.

But, Inverarity noted that if the doosra could be bowled within the 15 degree parameters set by the ICC, then he would be more than happy to let Australian spinners add it to their arsenal.

“I’m all for them learning it, but it’s got to be within the rules. I think the integrity of the game, the integrity of our Australian cricket heritage is important, we’ve had some wonderful bowlers with different grips, Max Walker bowling how he did, Jeff Thomson how he did, Jack Iverson, Johnny Gleeson. I’m all for that, but we’ll always run a measure over them to make sure they’re bowling legitimately. I’d love to see someone bowling differently, but we’d scrutinise them to make sure they’re bowling properly,” Inverarity added.

Bailey noted that if the Australian spinners had been allowed to use unorthodox deliveries like the doosra during their semi-final match against the West Indies in the World Twenty20, then the outcome of the match could have been different.

“As a nation we still talk about whether guys have legitimate actions or not and at the end of the day that’s really not for us to be arguing about, if that’s the rules and that’s how bowlers are bowling now and having success in international cricket then we’ve got to start developing those players and developing them at 10-11 years of age and we start to have some bowlers who do bowl like [Muttiah] Muralitharan or [Saeed] Ajmal or [Sunil] Narine. You’re hoping that a few of our spinners were watching the tournament [World T20] and seeing the type of spinners that were having success. I think the way our coaching system is set up it’s going to be tough for some spinners to get through because the way a lot of the spinners who have had success bowl in the subcontinent, you’re probably not going to be playing much cricket in Australia if you bowl like that. There’s a balancing act there,” Bailey said.

Cricket Australia cannot keep turning a blind eye to the issue and must act on what their gut instinct tells them is the right path to take.

As of right now, Inverarity is still convinced that orthodox spin is the way to go, and highlighted the success England spinner Graeme Swann has had by sticking to the basics.

“Swann does very well, Ashley Mallett was a terrific bowler, Bruce Yardley was a terrific bowler, Tim May was a terrific bowler, and there were never any doubts about them, they didn’t bowl doosras,” Inverarity said.

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