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Are the Australian selectors right in preferring rookie spinners over the more experienced Nathan Hauritz?

Saturday, December 11, 2021
Shirin Sadikot
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So, the Australian selectors have thrown the five first-class matches old Michael Beer into the wild. Completely untested and raw, the 26-year-old left-arm spinner will be gifted his first Baggy Green at Perth, in the third Ashes Test. That means Xavier Doherty, who made his debut in the opening Test, finds himself axed after producing figures of 1 for 158 in the second match at Adelaide.

Leggie Steven Smith is the second spinner in the 12-man squad for Perth Test but the selectors have made it clear that Beer will become Australia’s 10th Test spinner after Shane Warne – the man who had pitched in for his selection. Warne, in his column, had written the South Australian tweaker was the best option for the hosts in Perth Test, which is his home ground. Beer’s selection, however, has evoked shock from other quarters.

Former spinner Stuart McGill is “gobsmacked” while the Doherty, the direct victim of this decision thinks the selectors are “panicking” and said, “In an ideal world, I would have liked a few more chances”, adding, “You have seen how many spinners they have used over the last couple of years, so I'm sure the selectors aren't quite sure who the next person is.”

Doherty may be right. The selectors do seem confused when it comes to deciding who Australia’s best spinner is. According to many, including McGill, the answer to that question is a straightforward ‘Nathan Hauritz’.

The off-spinner cannot be blamed if he’s thinking he has got a raw deal from the selectors and the team management. Two bad Tests in India shouldn’t be the criterion to show the doors to a spinner who has picked 63 wickets in 17 matches so far. Certainly not when the people preferred over him have anything but established themselves even at the domestic level.

If lack in form was the excuse for not including Hauritz in the original Ashes squad, it cannot be used to keep him out of Perth Test. A fortnight ago, Hauritz took a five-for at the very venue to bowl New South Wales to victory in a Shield match. In his next game, he scored his maiden first-class century.

So, have the Australian selectors erred in not restoring their faith in Hauritz? Voice your opinion here.
 

 


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