Looking at the spinners Australia have produced since Shane Warne‘s retirement and a handful of them who played alongside or during Warne’s career, they haven’t been conspicuous to world cricket and haven’t been able to sustain the trust showed upon them by delivering at the top most level.
Stuart Macgill was a decent spinner who bagged 200 odd Test wickets in his career lasting a decade. But whenever he played alongside ‘The Great One’ (Warne), his quality was out there for everyone to see. His leg-spinners spun but, he wasn’t the one who bothered the batsmen even when the pitch had loads on offer for him. But having said all of that, and excluding Warne, in the past two decades, there hasn’t been a spinner from Australia who has bettered Macgill or even got close to him when it came to the longer version of the game.
Coming to another veteran who still plays for the odd franchise here and there, Bradley Hogg – his Test career was cut short to only seven matches, but he did have a good run in One Day Internationals. He was always a clever operator, and his ‘slow left-arm Chinaman’ did serve Australia well towards the latter half of his career. His wrong’uns were deceptive and to be fair to him, even sub-continental batsmen found it hard to tackle him. Yet again, I don’t know how many of you who follow cricket closely would look up to Brad Hogg and his trade and say, “He was a good spinner”.
These two spinners have been by far the “best” after Warne.
I was left baffled whenever Nathan Hauritz got called up for national duty, and the views of many Australian cricket pundits on this ‘below mediocre level’ spinner. I mean, I couldn’t see him do anything other than throw the ball up there and play a game of lottery. There was no use of his body, no pivot to get the drift that Graeme Swann enjoys, and the basic components for a spinner never seemed to follow Hauritz. Probably, you could conclude that, such was the scarcity of spinners in Australian cricket that they didn’t find a better bet than Hauritz during his days.
From one finger spinner to another, Jason Krejza. He was another spinner who was hugely hyped but, you could look at his bowling and say that his flight was his strength and he relied only on it to cause problems. To his credit, he bagged 12 wickets on his debut Test match against possibly the greatest players of spin bowling, India. Yet again, he wasn’t the spinner who could have enjoyed an extended run, nor did he have the qualities to cement a permanent spot in the squad.