Warne’s fears over shortsighted snubs
Shane Warne has urged states to give tweakers more of a go, as he fears a spin shortage becoming a “real issue” in Australian cricket.
Only two states have played a frontline spinner in both their opening Sheffield Shield rounds, through South Australia with Tom Andrews and Ashton Agar at Western Australia.
Adam Zampa, Jon Holland, Mitchell Swepson and Steve O’Keefe are among those to have missed games, with Nathan Lyon also rested for round one on return from the Ashes.
It comes amid fears of who Australia would turn to in the event of an injury to Lyon, after selectors went without a second tweaker on this year’s Ashes tour.
“They should always pick a spinner,” Warne said of Shield teams. “You don’t just pick a team for the first innings, there is always a second innings.
“It’s disappointing if captains for sides are not picking spinners no matter what the conditions.
“We should still be encouraging spinners for all conditions, they’ve got to learn.
“The job of all Sheffield Shield teams and domestic cricket is to make sure you produce international cricketers. It’s not just looking after your own state.”
Marnus Labuschagne’s part-time leggies will come in handy but Warne wants to see the specialist spinners develop.Source:Getty Images
Lyon has been a revelation for Australia since his debut in 2011, ending a revolving door of tweakers trying to replace Warne.
The 31-year-old has take 363 wickets at 32.3, and went third on Australia’s all-time Test wicket-taking list during the Ashes.
But the lack of support around him is a concern if something were to go wrong. In the time since Lyon’s debut in 2011, Australia have used five other specialist tweakers — mostly in conjunction with the off-spinner on turning wickets.
Between them, only one has played more than five Tests and none more than 10.
“Luckily we have such a quality spinner in Nathan Lyon, he has done so well in all conditions around the world and held that attack together,” Warne said. “If something happened to Lyon it would be a real issue.
“It’s important for this summer for Australia now … if something does happen to Nathan that someone can step up.
“I’m not sure who that person can be. Maybe someone like a Cameron Boyce who is more of a white-ball player, in T20s and one-day cricket he goes well.
“But I think he could offer something in Test cricket too.”
Australia’s spin stocks outside of Nathan Lyon are pretty thin, particularly in the long form of the game.Source:Getty Images