Cape Town, Mar 23: Australian cricket captain Ricky Ponting has appealed to the national selectors to provide him with a specialist spinner for the Ashes series.
The appeal has gone out following the disastrous debut of Bryce McGain in Cape Town, reports The Age.
McGain took 0-149 from 18 overs at 8.27 runs per over, the second-worst economy rate by a bowler in an innings in Test history.
Australia added to the history books themselves, going down by an innings and 20 runs in the third Test against South Africa on Sunday. It was Australia''s first defeat by an innings since the second Test against India in Kolkata in March 1998.
Ponting says the Australians, who had already won the series with victories in Johannesburg and Durban, weren''t at their best mentally for the dead-rubber match.
"The next lot of Test-match cricket we play will be the Ashes which is going to be another great challenge for everybody and I''m sure a series that a lot of people around the world are looking forward to," the skipper said.
Ponting said in McGain''s defence, the Newlands pitch wasn''t helping the spinners much. However while he didn''t impart great spin on the ball, South Africa''s left-armer Paul Harris was man of the match with 3-34 and a career-best 6-127.
"I''m sure that the selectors will be looking at picking a specialist spinner for the Ashes tour. I think it would be silly if we didn''t take a specialist spinner," Ponting said.