'Australia need new spinners' | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, October 09, 2012 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, October 09, 2012

'Australia need new spinners'

George Bailey believes Australia's spin bowlers must find a way to be more effective on the subcontinent if the team is to have any chance of winning the next World Twenty20, to be held in Bangladesh in 2014. After returning home Monday Bailey also defended the form of the middle-order batsmen, who besides his own 63 in the semifinal loss to West Indies had little impact in the tournament as the top three carried the bulk of the workload.
Three days after Australia's tournament ended their exit might not have looked so bad, coming as it did against the eventual champions. However, one notable feature of the final was that both sides had outstanding finger-spinners with a mystery element: Sri Lanka's Ajantha Mendis was the tournament's leading wicket taker with 15 at 9.80 and the West Indian Sunil Narine was equal fourth with nine victims, including five in the semifinal and the decider.
Another bowler of similar ilk, Pakistan's Saeed Ajmal, was also equal fourth on the wicket tally and all three were miserly as well. In contrast, Xavier Doherty leaked 8.63 runs an over - his 1 for 48 from three overs in the semifinal seriously dented Australia's hopes - while Brad Hogg managed only two wickets in his six games and the all-rounder Glenn Maxwell was equally ineffective. Bailey knows it will be almost impossible to win in Bangladesh in 2014 with a similar slow-bowling output.
"One of the things we need to look at is the way we bowl our spin," Bailey said. "I don't know any other way to describe it than as a Western-type way of bowling, which tends to be to try and draw the batsman out of the crease, whereas all the teams who have had success at the World Cup, their spinners are bowling into the wicket, quite fast, hitting the stumps every ball, making it very hard.
"We need to find a way to develop spinners like that, and the tough thing is maybe bowling like that doesn't really suit conditions in Australia. But I think if you look at all the stats from the tournament that was probably one of the areas that if we're serious about winning the tournament we're going to have to find a way to improve come Bangladesh."
During the World Twenty20, Muttiah Muralidaran said he believed one of the reasons Australia would not produce such a spinner was that unorthodox bowlers would be encouraged at junior levels to change their style. Bailey said it was important that young spinners with potential were identified regardless of whether they fit the Australian idea of what makes a good slow bowler.
"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," Bailey said. "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 Murali or Ajmal or Narine."

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