They can’t pick off-spinners in Australia

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    Sri Lankan spinner Muttiah Muralitharan. AP Photo/Aman Sharma

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    Has anyone else noticed how much opposition off-spinners struggle in Australia? I certainly have, which is why seeing Graeme Swann not bowling well over here isn’t much of a surprise.

    Cricket has seen some of the best off spinners ever in the last 20 years.

    We’ve had Muttiah Muralitharan, Harbhajan Singh, Ravichandran Ashwin, Saeed Ajmal and Swann and they have all totally under performed here in Oz.

    Lets have a look at the overall stats of the five best off spinner of the last 20 years:

    Wickets: 800, average: 22.72

    Wickets: 413, average: 32.37

    Wickets: 254, average: 29.81

    Wickets: 159, average: 26.54

    Wickets: 104, average: 27.47

    Now lets see their stats in Australia:

    Wickets: 12, average: 75.41

    Wickets: Nine, average: 73.22

    Wickets: 21, average: 51.76

    Wickets: two, average: 111.50

    Wickets: nine, average: 62.77

    As you can see, it’s not a happy hunting ground for offies in Australia.

    This to me is clearly a trend not just coincidence. If the best off-spinners of all time can’t do it, what hope do average one’s have?

    I checked the stats for leg spinners and slow left armers and they also had worse averages in Australia compared to their career average, but not quite as bad as the off spinners.

    Spinners touring here obviously aren’t comfortable with the conditions.

    The ball doesn’t spin as much as most other countries but there is extra bounce, which they clearly are not utilising.

    Based on these stats I wouldn’t ever pick an off spinner if I were the touring side as they just don’t have an impact.

    You could argue for a selection at the SCG but that’s about it.

    Any team touring here will surely have to consider this as they are behind the eight ball without a ball being bowled when playing the off-spinner.

    India tour here next year and will probably pick Ashwin and they will most certainly lose the series here again.

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