Australia is a country with no dearth of talent in cricket. They have got replacements or players on the bench who would have played for any other country (and not sat outside) apart from Australia.
Michael Hussey had to wait until he was 29 to get a chance to play for Australia. He had scored about 10,000 first class runs before that. He replaced the great Michael Bevan!
Adam Gilchrist, the greatest wicket keeping batsman I have seen, made his Test debut only at 28! He replaced the then record holder Ian Healy.
The list will probably go on. There are also people like Ponting or Clarke who made their debuts at 19 or 20.
The most disappointing fact about the Aussies is that they have simply not got a quality spinner. We had Shane Warne, arguably the greatest spinner of all time with Murali, ruling the spin department for more than a decade.
We saw the likes of Stuart MacGill, who had a career spanning ten years, being merely Warne's shadow. I would not blame him as he managed to play 44 Tests with Warne around! He also had 208 wickets.
Then Colin Miller, who had hairstyles which became more famous than his offies!
Gavin Robertson was the second spinner in Australia's tour of India in 1998! He never returned to Test cricket after that series! Another insignificant offie.
Brad Hogg was always considered an ODI specialist and played only seven Tests although he made his Test debut in 1996!
Nathan Hauritz was picked for the FINAL FRONTIER as a second spinner in 2004. He played in the inconsequential Test at the Mumbai minefield! While he still looks the man to be a regular in the team with his off spinners, he has not impressed a great deal.
Beau Casson, with his left arm spin, played only one Test against the Windies and has been overlooked since then (quite rightly so!)
Jason Krejza had an ominous debut, although on the losing side, with 12 wickets against India. He was thwarted by the Proteas in Perth and since then he has been warming the benches. He, along with Casson, is the youngest of the lot and will probably compete with Hauritz.
Bryce McGain was considered "the next big thing" before an injury ruled him out! He, finally, made his debut at the age of 37 last week at Newlands and looks like he might just about announce his retirement too! His career is over as far as I see it! Certainly no second chance at 37!
For a country, which had Warne, to be struggling to find a good spinner seems to give an awkward feeling. Who will be the next permanent spinner, if not NEXT BIG THING, is going to be something we have to watch out for. I will put my bet on Hauritz!
Let's hope we have a good spinner or one of these guys being trained to become one! Only ASHES will tell!
Like the new article format? Send us feedback!