A BATTING WITH BIMAL BREAKING REPORT: The current Sheffield Shield pitches will not help produce the next generation’s greatest Test batsmen and spin bowlers, says Michael Hussey


Hussey is concerned that the next generation of Australian batsmen will struggle to handle the pressures of international cricket

Veteran Australia batsman Michael Hussey has voiced his concerns about the next generation of Test batsmen and spinners, saying that the pitches being used nowadays during Sheffield Shield matches have too much in them for pace bowlers.

Many of the Sheffield Shield pitches have been criticised in the past as well, but the groundsmen continue to state that they is something in it for everyone, despite ongoing claims that spinners are having a nightmare to get any turn.

During last year’s Sheffield Shield, no batsmen managed to reach 1,000 runs, with current Australian opener Ed Cowan topping the scoring table with 948 runs to his name at an average of 59.25.

With veteran batsman Ricky Ponting having already announced his retirement, Hussey himself admitted that his time in international cricket is coming to an end and added that the search to find batsmen to replace them will be extremely tough since the domestic pitches are too pace friendly.

“I don’t think the current wickets are helping in creating and developing Test match cricketers,” Hussey was quoted by News.com.au as saying. “It’s hard for me to accurately comment because I’m not in the board room and I’m not chatting to the curators, but I think it’s an issue to be honest. You have to look at the conditions guys are playing at in the level below.”

While Hussey knows his theory on domestic pitches will be highly unpopular with many pace bowlers, he stated that it was of vital importance to make the decks more batsmen friendly since it will help to improve their concentration, toughness and strokeplay.

“It’s about creating Test match cricketers, we need to teach guys to bat for six hours,” Hussey added. “It takes a lot of skill and concentration to be able to bat for six hours and on these pitches – it’s very difficult.

“We also want to try and develop spin bowlers, but they don’t even get a bowl in first-class matches which is disappointing. If we want to develop fast bowlers for a Test match, they need to be patient and disciplined for long periods of time, they don’t have to be on these pitches because they can get it there or thereabouts and they will get wickets anyway.”

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