'Depleted leg spinners' stock biggest worry for Australia cricket'
Australian cricket's biggest problem currently is the lack of leg spinners in the domestic cricket and the inability to replace legendary Shane Warne in the team, according to senior cricket writer Robert Craddock.
"Behind the hoopla about Shane Warne's proposed Test comeback lies a disturbing fact - Australia's leg spin stocks are in worse shape than they have been for 30 years," Craddock wrote in his column for News.com.au.
"Shed tears if you will for the breakdown of a handful of Australia's fast bowlers this summer, but the leg spin crisis is a sadder event because it is much harder to fix," he added.
"Consumed by rotation policies and the general welfare of their quicks, Australia have spent far less time than it should have developing the exotic craft of leg-spin, a timeless trademark of Australian cricket at its best," he further wrote.
Craddock added: "Without many fans even noticing, leg spinners have again become the Tyrannosaurus Rex of Australia's cricket landscape, dinosaurs who once left huge footprints but have suddenly vanished."
"Australian leg spinners have gone back to being where they were before Warne - the crumpled little men with furrowed brows at the bar lamenting how tough they find it to take wickets with a new ball, a wet ball, in the first innings, on green wickets or against left-handers for captains who don't understand them," he wrote.
"The Sheffield Shield ranks have become an embarrassing wasteland, with not a leg spinner to be seen in the top 34 bowlers on the Shield averages," he further wrote.
"The great thing about Warne playing the Big Bash is that it showcases the skills of leg spin to the masses on television. The sad part is that Warne, six years into retirement from first-class cricket, is still the equal of any man of his trade in Australia," he concluded.