Sydney, Oct.16 : Former Australian captain and well known cricket commentator Richie Benaud has appealed to his country's cricket fans to keep the faith with Australia's young band of emerging leg-spinners.
As debate rages over whether selectors should persevere with Cameron White as a spinning option during the four-Test series in India, Benaud insists it is vital for slow bowlers to be given sufficient time in the middle to master their craft.
While Benaud doesn't necessarily believe allrounder White is the long-term answer to Australia's post-Warne spinning blues, he rates the 25-year-old Victorian highly and thinks he will only develop further if afforded continuing Test match experience.
"I think Cameron White's a good cricketer. I'm very keen on him doing well and people expect young cricketers suddenly to be stars overnight," the Sydney Morning Herald quoted Benaud as telling AAP.
"It's important to persevere with all young players. It's no good putting them in for a match or two," he added.
Having been a leg-spinner himself, Benaud who captured 248 Test wickets, Benaud admits he was not in Warne's league and needed years to mature as a world-class performer.
"When I started bowling, I took advice from Bill O'Reilly in 1953 in Scarborough at the end of the tour because I was disappointed in my own bowling," the former Test captain said.
"And Bill O'Reilly gave me advice and told me what to do and, as I was going out of the room, he said, 'oh and one other thing, it's going to take you four years to do it'.
"And it did take me four years to do it.
"It wasn't until South Africa in 1957 that I started to bowl properly. So don't expect young bowlers to become stars overnight.
"The only one who's ever been able to do that is Shane Warne and I said the same thing to him that Bill O'Reilly told me - that it would take four years, but Warne was so good, he did it in two."
Benaud is as eager as anyone for Australia to unearth the next Shane Warne - cricket's all-time leading Test wicket-taker with 708 scalps - but accepts the search could be a lengthy.