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Jenner fears Aussie spin decline

By Mark Orlovac

How to leave batsmen in a spin with Shane Warne's mentor Terry Jenner

Shane Warne's mentor Terry Jenner says Australia will have to wait before finding another match-winning spinner.

With the Ashes series on the horizon, Australia are struggling to fill the void left by Warne's 2007 retirement.

Jason Krejza recorded figures of 1-204 in Australia's defeat by South Africa in Perth, and Jenner told BBC Sport: "We need a change of attitude.

"The bowling's definitely in question, but it has been for more than this last match - this has just highlighted it."

Australia were defeated by six wickets in the first Test in Perth, with the visitors completing the second-highest successful run chase in Test history as they made 414-4.

The selectors reacted to the defeat by dropping Krejza for the second Test starting on Boxing Day, but Jenner says there is no quick fix to Australia's problem.

"As an Australian, you would have every reason to worry about the development of spin in the country," said Jenner, a former Australia spinner who helped nurture Warne's talents.

It takes a long time develop a wrist spinner with accuracy - it's much easier to sacrifice the spin to become accurate

Terry Jenner
"Every guy in a state squad wants to play all the forms of cricket but for a spinner, it takes a significant amount experience to be able to change your game to do that.

"It's the longer form of the game that suffers because a young spinner takes the spin off the ball so he can become more accurate - when they do that they become semi dot-ball bowlers.

"That's why we have no leg-spinners in Australia at the moment because they are asked, through a total lack of understanding, to bowl dot balls.

"We are not full of riches now, we are not developing youngsters because we say to them that they have to bowl economically.

"I'd be less than honest if I didn't say I was worried about it."

Stuart MacGill was a more than capable understudy - and sometimes team-mate - for most of Warne's Test career, but he announced his retirement earlier this year after claiming 208 Test wickets.

Since then, Australia have tried Krezja and Beau Casson, who played one Test against the West Indies in June.

Australia also picked 36-year-old Bryce McGain, who had worked in the IT department of a bank in Melbourne until March 2008, as their senior spinner for the tour to India before he fell victim to a shoulder injury.

Warne, regarded as one of the finest players in cricket history, retired from the Test arena in 2007 with 708 Test wickets to his name and is working with Cricket Australia to help develop the country's young spinners.


"They have employed him to try to get through to captains about encouraging the development of wrist spin," added Jenner.

"We seem to think that we can only attack with the field, and therefore the bowler takes the spin off it so he can become more accurate and get hit less.

"It takes a long time to develop a wrist spinner with accuracy, it's much easier to sacrifice the spin to become accurate. But once the spin has gone, it's gone forever.

"We have to remember that spin bowling is about spin, not dot balls."

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see also
Australia drop spin bowler Krejza
22 Dec 08 |  Australia
S Africa run chase stuns Aussies
21 Dec 08 |  Cricket
Aussie spinner out of India tour
03 Oct 08 |  Cricket
Australia gamble on spin rookies
12 Sep 08 |  Cricket
Where next for Australia?
28 Jan 08 |  Australia
Warne tempted by Ashes comeback
20 May 08 |  Australia
Warne to coach Australia spinners
26 Dec 07 |  Australia

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