Brisbane, Jun 1: Just how much of a headache is spin bowling to Australia can be gaugeed from the fact that they are holding an annual "spin week" at the Centre of Excellence in Brisbane where spinners from all over the country converge for a special training. And this time they had former Pakistani spinner Saqlain Mushtaq to share his experience and expertise with the young and budding spinners.
Saqlain, who in his heydays was one of the finest off-spinners on show, is scheduled to stay the entire week at the Centre of Excellence and work with spinners, including Jason Krejza.
Speaking at Brisbane, Saqlain said, "The legend Shane Warne ... is a big loss but because of that these guys have a problem. He set the standard so high, these spinners need more time to settle. Australian cricket has all the varieties [of spinners] but they have to have patience - give them a proper chance and back the bowlers. If you are backing the spinners they will perform very well. You can't make a spinner in a day or a month."
While saying so, he certainly hit the nail on its head as none apart from Nathan Hauritz to a certain extent has been granted an extended run with the Australian cricket team. Ever since, Warne quit international cricket, Australia have tried as many as ten spinners, but have persisted with none.
The most notable among these spinners, is Jason Krejza who had an eventful debut against India in which he claimed 12 wickets in the match but yielded more than 200 runs. He certainly looked like he belonged to the stage and a little bit of fine-tuning during these three years could have seen as a leading spinner in world cricket. But that was not to be as he was dropped after his second Test.
Of Krejza, Saqlain said, "I have been trying to give him an idea on how to grab your place again in the national team, how to believe in yourself, how to train and come back."
Hopefully, Mushtaq, who is credited with giving the cricketing world 'Doosra', can give life a second lease of life to the Australian spinners who at the moment are struggling to find their feet in the international arena.