Australia’s Extraordinary Spin Attack: Doherty Picked

26 10 2010

Something has happened today that should have the cricketing world running scared. Something so awe inspiring and so extraordinary that any international batsman who is not Australian will be going to bed tonight in a cold sweat. Particularly, with their weirdly timed one day international series, the Sri Lankans.

Xavier Doherty, Tasmania’s professional number 9 batsman, has been called up into the Australian one day international squad. According to Cricinfo’s profile, Doherty is a left arm spinner although this something that we are finding it difficult to credit. Surely any man who averages 51 in first class cricket with the ball is not a bowler!

We are willing to excuse him slightly as he sounds like he has French ancestry – in which case we think he is likely doing very well to even play cricket let alone get selected for Australia – yet  even Richard Dawson and Chris Schofield had better records than this! People are saying he might be a threat to Nathan Hauritz – something we can’t quite see as Hauritz looks likes Jim Laker by comparison…

In all seriousness this is a further demonstration of why ODI cricket will never be one of our favoured forms of the game. Contrary to what many people think, limited overs cricket is an essentially defensive game and one in which bowlers who can put it on a length 5 balls out of 6 (something though that we are not yet convinced Doherty can do) can be useful – just look at Michael Yardy for England or the reasons why David Hussey gets his four overs in 20/20 games.

Cricket should be an attacking game and in our opinion Doherty shouldn’t be near international cricket – let alone playing against the Lankans… On the flip side however, we would love him selected in a two man spinning attack against England if there is a turning Ashes track… A two pronged attack with Hauritz and Doherty would surely make England favourites!

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4 responses

26 10 2010
Dingo

I would laugh if I could stop crying.

26 10 2010
BP

Can’t say I know what’s going on in Aussie selectors’ heads either! But I doubt England will be lucky enough to face the dream combo of Hauritz-Doherty in an Ashes Test!

But cmon Bradders…surely it’s unfair to knock down ODI cricket altogether as a “defensive” game…just because some selectors (particularly in England) tend to favour bits-and-pieces players.

I mean just look back at champion ODI sides…which became champions coz they oozed aggression (with either bat or ball, if not both) — WI in the ’70s, Pakistan in ’92, SL in ’96, Oz in each of the last 3 editions. Or put together a roster of matchwinning ODI cricketers over the last 30 years — Richards, Tendulkar, Gilchrist, Akram, Imran, Warne, McGrath, Jayasurya, Aravinda, Kapil, Hayden, Symonds, Lee, Tait, Akhtar, Waqar, Donald, Klusener, et al… no defensive mindsets there!

I know what you’re saying…that quite a few defensive bowlers do get to make a living out of ODI cricket…but not one of them has ever propelled their team to a semi-final or final spot…let alone actually lifting the WC. A lesson there for selectors, me thinks!

27 10 2010
Tony

The Australian selectors have been using fifty over cricket as trial matches for over ten years. Please to ignore Australian Fifty50 selections.

27 10 2010
Bradders

Fair enough – I looked at his one day stats and there pretty good so understand that now – its just in a pretty sad way Aussie spin bowling at the moment though. Please forgive a little crowing from an Englishman, not used to being up in the spin stakes you see!

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