Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo
Mark Craig has been given the opportunity to become New Zealand’s next spin sensation, but he stated that he does not possess an arsenal of magical deliveries like many of the unorthodox spinners in the game today.
Craig was included in New Zealand’s squad for their tour of the West Indies after Jeetan Patel turned down New Zealand Cricket’s (NZC) offer to play for the national team in the Caribbean.
“I mean, you look at Graeme Swann, he’s been a very successful off spinner and he doesn’t throw the ball at all,” Craig told the Dominion Post. “He’s been a conventional off spinner so I think there’s still a place in the game for those guys that don’t throw the ball. It just means that you’ve got to work that little bit harder in terms of deceiving guys in the air and things like that, if you don’t have the one that goes the other way.
“I basically just try and give the ball as big a rip as I can and spin the ball big and get a bit of drop on the ball and bring in that bounce and try and catch a glove or go through-the-gate to the righties or lbw or nick off to the lefties.”
If Craig is selected to play in the first Test in Jamaica, it would be a very significant debut since West Indies opener Chris Gayle will be playing in his 100th Test.
However, instead of being a little intimidated, Craig noted that he was actually relishing the challenge to bowl to Gayle.
“I’m not over-awed by bowling to him,” Craig said. It’s a good opportunity, not for bragging rights, but if I get him out it’s going to be pretty exciting. I don’t mind getting hit out of the ground every now and then. Then the job’s about getting him out.”