Oz selectors in a spin over slow bowling

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Bangalore, Oct.7 : Finding a spinner, or a squad of spinners to replace Shane Warne is proving to be the biggest challenge for the Australian cricket selection committee.

Selection committee chairman Andrew Hilditch is here to help and advice Australian captain Ricky Ponting and the team management on who to pick for the first Test with India.

According to a report in The Age, so far, the judgement of the selectors on the slow bowling front has been confusing, at best.

In May, selectors Hilditch, Boon, Hughes and Cox identified 25-year-old New South Wales chinaman bowler Beau Casson as the country's outstanding young spinner by presenting him with a contract worth about 150,000 dollars and took him to the West Indies, where he made a solid, if not spectacular, debut in Barbados.

Four months later, a young off-spinner, Krejza, who had moved to Tasmania partly because he couldn't get a game ahead of Casson and Nathan Hauritz, and with a first-class average of 45, tipped the young, left-arm wrist spinner off the plane to India.

When Bryce McGain, the top performing spinner in the country last summer, went down with a shoulder injury, the selectors did not go back to Casson, but instead picked leg-spinner Cameron White.

"The logic put forward by Hilditch was something akin to an AFL club overlooking the best player available in the draft and instead choosing the player most suited to the club's needs at that moment," The Age says.

Following an era of enviable stability, it seems the Australian cricket selectors are twisting themselves into unnecessary knots.

Whatever happens in the next three days, they will have to gamble on an uncapped and untried bowler to support the relatively established pace trio of Brett Lee, Stuart Clark and Mitchell Johnson.

ANI

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