Former Test bowler Kerry O’Keeffe has come out and stated that Australia has fallen very far behind the world in performing the beautiful art of spin bowling in limited overs cricket.
Kerry O'Keeffe believes, India and England, Australia's biggest rivals in quest to win the ICC Cricket World Cup next year, are much better equipped in this regard. While England has a fondness for what Adil Rashid has to offer to their ODI team, India has Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal and both have been outstanding since becoming the mainstays of Virat Kohli led side in 2017.
“The reason these spinners (Rashid, Yadav and Chahal) are striking is the fact they’ve got big wrong-uns,” O’Keeffe was quoted telling foxsports.com.au, “I’m looking at the wrong-un bowlers in Australian first-class cricket and I can’t see too many who have the really hard-to-play wrong-un.”
“I think we’ve fallen behind, we haven’t got a strike spinner. And the wrist spinners have been striking for India and we need to find that strike spinner, Is it Ashton Agar? Jury is still out. Is it Nathan Lyon, who strikes as a Test bowler and wants to be the strike spinner in the one-day set up? Is there a smoky out there, some wrist spinner that’s going to do well in the JLT One-Day Cup and put his name forward? We just need that strike spinner."
“The overseas spinners are striking in overs 11 to 40. We haven’t got that slow bowler yet, we need to find one, and quickly,” he added.
Now though, O'Keeffe's concerns have been tried to be given solutions to by the legendary Shane Warne
Warne in search of good options was quoted saying to foxsports.com.au as, “India and England have got two good leg-spinners but they’ve got variety as well in their attacks which gives them an advantage, No matter what the situation, what the conditions, they’ve got the attack for it.”
Warne also thinks, Fawad Ahmed, who has been a regular feature in the Big Bash League for a while and has played for Australia in 2013, can be given a chance again in the white ball unit.
“When he played in England a few years ago, he was up against some pretty good players, Australia weren’t playing well and he bowled in really difficult situations. They hadn’t got any wickets, two people were set and he had to come on to bowl. I don’t think he got a really good opportunity.” he said and added, “I think Ahmed is a terrific leg-spinner, especially in one-day cricket. I would have liked to see him in there. I like his bowling, I’d love to see Fawad be the legspinner in the World Cup.”