State captains and pitch curators have a major role to play in ending Australia’s spin crisis, according to leg-spin guru Shane Warne.
Warne on Monday published part four of his `manifesto’ on the state of Australian cricket, with the focus largely on spin bowling.
It was a timely comment piece given Nathan Lyon’s omission for the second Test and the punishment dished out by India to tweakers Xavier Doherty and Glenn Maxwell.
The 43-year-old called on state associations to provide young spinners with more support.
“(Spinners have) to play under a captain who is prepared to back the spinner and play them in all 10 shield games not just in Adelaide or Sydney where the ball spins,” Warne wrote.
“This way, the spinner gets experience in all the different conditions and the good spinners will adapt and find a way to be successful.
“…Nothing beats knowing the captain has faith in you and will back you, as Alan Border did with me when I started. It means a lot, eases your mindset and boosts your confidence.”
Warne was also critical of the expectations placed on spinners by state coaches and captains.
“The attitude should always be about taking wickets and not about economy rates: 4-100 off 25 overs is a good result and better than 2-60 off 25 overs.
“I believe the expectations are too high and the young spinners are put under a lot of pressure to be both attacking wicket takers as well as tight economical bowlers, which is very hard to do.”
Australia have been searching to find a long-term replacement for Warne since his Test retirement in 2007.
Maxwell is the 12th spinner to be used since Warne’s exit.
Stephen O’Keefe is the leading spinner this Sheffield Shield season, but his 17 pale comparison to South Australia swing bowler Chadd Sayers’ 38.
He’s stepping down from the NSW captaincy for the last two Shield games of the season to concentrate on his bowling.
Warne said a major part of the lack of spin depth was the state of pitches in Australia, something skipper Michael Clarke touched on prior to the start of the second Test.
“I’m surprised a spinner gets a bowl at Bellerive because the game is nearly over in two and a half days,” Clarke said last Friday.
“…That’s being assessed.
“I would like to see our Australian spinners get more of an opportunity in first-class cricket in Australia.
“But you can’t blame the states because conditions dictate a lot of the time that you don’t even need a spinner.
“I love the fact that when I first started playing for New South Wales, at the SCG and Adelaide Oval you always picked two spinners.”