Australian Spinners since Warne

Written by kobus. Posted in Cricket

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Published on November 08, 2011 with No Comments

While we are on eve of a very exciting test series the subject on everyone’s mind is spinners. Who from South Africa will be in the team? Debutant leg spinner Tahir with his very well hidden googlys, or slow-left arm bowler Harris. Yes I did refer to him as slow-left arm bowler and not a left-arm off spinner, there is a reason for that. I will be extremely disappointed if Kirsten goes for the latter as I feel Tahir offers so much more.

Even though I can go on and on regarding our 2 spinners that is in fact not the reason for this post. Australia announced that 23 year old Lyon will be their front line spinner for this test series. The reason would primarily be due to his success in the Sri Lanka series a couple of month ago, but as you will see below, it was not too great either.

Lyon is the 11th spinner used by Australia since Warne's retirement

If we go back a couple of years when Shane Warne was still playing for Australia it’s hard not to admit that he was a magician with the ball. Yes he was one the most hated sports athletes by South Africans but damn he was good. Let’s not forget his first ever Ashes wicket was that of Mike Gatting that won Warne the Ball of the Century (Youtube Wikipedia)

When looking at the Australian test squad you don’t need to be a rocket scientist to know that Australia haven’t found a replacement for Warno. I’m sure the selectors won’t deny it either. And once again I found very usefull stats from Cricinfo that proves just that. Okay so Warne retired in Jan 2007 and below is the list of spinners Australia have used since then. Lyon is the 11th spinner since Warne. In almost 4 years they have used 11 spinners! That’s almost a new spinner for each test series. Talk about confidence by the selectors! There was an article a couple of days ago saying that the reason for the lack of spinning talent is that Stuart MacGill retired 2 years too early. (article). Even though he was most his career 2nd option for Australia he was a very lethal spinner. But still, if you look at the stats of the rest of the guys below, it’s pretty terrible if you ask me.

Player Matches Innings Overs Runs Wickets Average Economy Rate
N Hauritz 16 31 673 2101 58 36.22 3.12
J Krejza 2 4 123.5 562 13 43.23 4.53
S MacGill 4 8 171 651 10 65.10 3.80
B Hogg 3 6 125 481 8 60.12 3.84
N Lyon 3 6 94.5 295 8 36.87 3.11
C White 4 8 93 642 5 68.40 3.67
B Casson 1 2 32 129 3 43.00 4.03
X Doherty 2 3 75.5 306 3 102 4.03
S Smith 5 5 62.0 220 3 73.33 3.54
M Beer 1 1 38.0 112 1 112.00 2.94
B McGain 1 1 18 149 0 8.27

Note the last player Bryce McGain. He only bowled 1 innings with 18 overs and went for 149 runs! And I can proudly say that was when Australia last toured SA. So South Africa offically batted him out of test cricket! See scorecard of that game here.

And I for one can safely say, if Tahir plays tomorrow, we will definitely have the upper hand in the spinning department. Tahir should be quite a handful for the Australian batsmen especially on the last day of the test.

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