Hauritz is still Australia’s best spin option
Pressure continues to be applied to Australian off spinner Nathan Hauritz in the lead up to the Ashes as the Australian selectors name Xavier Doherty and Steve Smith in their extended Ashes squad.
Hauritz had a below par showing against the Victorians at the SCG last week as David Hussey and Andrew McDonald put him to the sword.
His performances in India were placed under a lot of scrutiny and sections of the cricket world have questioned his place in the Test side.
Hurwitz is by far Australia’s best option in the longer form of the game at the moment.
His record is improving, and when compared to other frontline spinners over the last 18 months, it measures up extremely well. Muttiah Muralitharan and Shane Warne were freaks and their average in the low twenties is not the norm and nor should spinners be expected to average in that realm.
Test wickets are very flat and offer very little for spinners in the majority of Tests played around the world. Being a Test spinner is tough.
England spinner Graeme Swann is the only spinner in the last 18 months to average less than 30. In 19 Tests, he has taken 86 wickets at 25.90 and second is a long way behind.
Four other spinners in this period have taken over 40 wickets.
Harbhajan Singh sits second with 50 wickets at 39.66 and Hauritz is just behind him with 49 scalps at 35.75 – both players have played 13 matches.
New Zealand skipper Daniel Vettori is next best with 45 wickets at 37.00 from 11 Tests. Bangladesh’s left arm spinner Shakib Al Hasan sits on 40 wickets in 10 Tests at an average of 32.42.
Other frontline spinners average in the thirties, including Pragyan Ojha (India), Danish Kaneria (Pakistan), Saeed Ajmal (Pakistan), Sulieman Benn (West Indies) and Murali.
The pressure is on Hauritz as he faces up against Swann, the world’s leading spinner. But at least he has the knowledge he is around the mark when compared with other spinners.
His record in direction comparison with Murali’s reads well as their averages, strike rates and economy rates are very similar over the last 18 months.
Hauritz has played more Tests but Murali’s record doesn’t humiliate Hauritz.
The selectors are every chance to leave Hauritz out of the Brisbane and Perth Tests due to team balance but it’s in Adelaide, Melbourne and Sydney where he needs to have an influence.
He had a solid Ashes in 2009, and if he can combine a low economy rate with trying to take wickets during the crucial moments in the series, he could be extremely affective for the Australians as they battle to reclaim the Ashes.