x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 July 2017

Australia's second opinion on doosra

Considering Australia have not seen a decent slow bowler emerge since Shane Warne retired, selector John Inverarity's conservatism makes little sense.

Saeed Ajmal of Pakistan is among those whose action while bowling the doosra is under suspicion.
Saeed Ajmal of Pakistan is among those whose action while bowling the doosra is under suspicion.

On Friday, John Inverarity said that Cricket Australia must "keep our integrity" and not encourage upcoming Australian spin bowlers to master the doosra.

The crux of the chairman of selectors' concern was that the doosra – a leg-spin delivery bowled in an off-spinner's action – required a bowler to bend his arm close to, and in some cases, beyond the 15-degree threshold (the ICC rules any bowler who bends his arm beyond 15 degrees will be called for "throwing").

Inverarity's point is well taken given that modern-day spinners, including Muttiah Muralitharan, Harbhajan Singh, Shoaib Malik, Marlon Samuels, Mohammad Hafeez and Johan Botha have all been reported and investigated for throwing. However, they were eventually cleared and have gone on to take 2,597 international wickets between them.

The doosra, an invention of Pakistan's Saqlain Mushtaq in the 1990s, is also being used to great effect by contemporary bowlers such as Saeed Ajmal, Ravichandran Ashwin, Sunil Narine and Ajantha Mendis.

Considering Australia have not seen a decent slow bowler emerge from their domestic structure since Shane Warne and Stuart MacGill retired five and four years ago, Inverarity's conservatism makes little sense.

And his attitude certainly baffles the mind at a time when bats are getting heavier, pitches flatter, boundaries smaller, batsmen more innovative and the amount of cricket being played excessive.

By all means regulate bowlers using the doosra but don't discourage them.

ckadalayil@thenational.ae

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