Poor Bruce Oxenford’s pain wasn’t garnering him much sympathy from the players… or commentators!
Shane Warne was an international cricketing phenomenon. He would routinely pick up bags of wickets, mesmerise the best batsmen and could turn a Test match on its head in a session.
Perhaps the series that stood out most to me was the epic 2005 Ashes series in England, won 2-1 by the English.
In an ultimately losing team Warne was sensational, bagging 40 wickets and almost single-handedly keeping the Aussies in the series. How much more would Australia have lost by if not for the giant contribution of the leg-spin wizard?
But it is debateable as to whether there is merit in a return to the Test team for Shane Warne and the debate must be centred on the long-term development of the team and investment in the future.
At 43, how much time would Warne have back in the team? And when once again Warney calls stumps on his international career, where would that leave the side? It would have derailed the process of developing emerging spin talent.
The efforts of Nathan Lyon are not to be underestimated. Lyon has proven to be a solid if not spectacular performer and will get better with time.
True he is not picking up bags of wickets, but he troubled the top-ranked Proteas and was rarely churning out loose deliveries.
Nathan Lyon has brought a refreshing level of stability on the spin bowling front after a plethora of spin options were tried after the retirement of Warne.
Lyon should be allowed to build on the momentum he is developing. Band-aid solutions should be avoided, with the view of long-term success in mind.
Tempting as it may be, a ‘back to the future’ approach utilising Shane Warne would in many ways be problematic for the future of spin bowling in the Australian line-up. Australia needs the next Shane Warne, not the one who retired five years ago.