The time is coming soon for Australia’s spinners to dominate a World Cup game.
all very well for captain Ricky Ponting to laud his quicks as the
team’s best wicket-taking threats, but Brett Lee, Shaun Tait and
Mitchell Johnson, with 20 wickets between them in four games, can’t do
Off-spinner Jason Krejza (two wickets at 72.50 in the
World Cup) and 21-year-old leggie Steve Smith (one wicket at 121.00)
were given an out by Ponting in Sunday’s 60-run win over Kenya.
skipper said while the pair took a combined 0-72 off 14 overs against
the World No.13-ranked side on a turning pitch at Bangalore, they were
trying out a few things.
Smith bowled in the power play with the field up, Krejza worked away around the wicket to see how it rolls.
was a bit of experimentation from the spinners, but in saying that, I
still would have liked to see them making some breakthroughs for us,”
said Ponting, direct as ever.
“Through those middle overs in this
tournament when the ball gets old, and the wicket starts to spin, we
are going to need our spinners to strike for us, and that didn’t happen
Kenya’s century partnership between Collins Obuya (98
not out) and Tanmay Mishra (72) began in the 10th over, before Krejza
and Smith had been introduced to the bowling crease.
The spin duo’s influence was minimal, apart from avoiding heavy bleeding as far as economy rates go.
this was against Kenya, who are unlikely to even be in the next World
Cup which the ICC plans to reduce to a 10-team format in Australia-New
Zealand in 2015.
Canada are next on Wednesday in Bangalore, followed by Pakistan in Australia’s final Group A match in Colombo on Saturday.
Resting a pace bowler on Wednesday is an option, perhaps giving back-up medium-pacer John Hastings a run.
will start to face some strong spin attacks on turning pitches in the
knockout phase, so the value of having a strong slow-bowling arsenal of
their own will be crucial.
Krejza only made his one-day international debut last month and Smith is 21, but looks younger.
would recall the wicket-taking heroics of pacemen Glenn McGrath and
Tait who dominated the 2007 World Cup on slow decks in the West Indies,
taking 49 wickets between them.
But unsung hero Brad Hogg, the left-arm wrist-spinner, played his role with 21 scalps at 15.81.
Krejza and/or Smith must do the same.