Warne puts spin on Aussie bowling problems

CHRIS BARRETT
Last updated 10:46 27/02/2013

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Shane Warne has added his two cents as Australia seek answers to their spin conundrum in India, holding a lengthy post-match discussion on the ground with the team's brains trust.

The game's greatest leg-spinner held court at the 20-minute meeting on Tuesday, with those present including spinners Nathan Lyon and Xavier Doherty, as well as Michael Clarke, coach Mickey Arthur and fielding/spin coach Steve Rixon.

Warne is in India as a television commentator but remains close to the squad and former teammate Clarke in particular.

The 43-year-old has been highly critical of Cricket Australia this summer, at one point labelling several officials "muppets". A month ago he released on his website a two-part "manifesto" on the future of Australian cricket.

On Tuesday, the advice was face to face. Australia have come under fire for not including two specialist spinners in the XI for the first test, with Nathan Lyon on his own.

The 25-year-old was dealt with harshly by double centurion MS Dhoni and conceded more than 200 runs in India's first innings, but he did claim the key wickets of Sachin Tendulkar, Virat Kohli and Virender Sehwag at the MA Chidambaram Stadium.

Clarke was even asked on Tuesday whether Australia would consider flying more spinners to India before the next test.

"Bring them to India, more spinners?" he replied to the Indian reporter. He then joked: "We'll bring the whole country here soon. Warnie is in town, I'll see if he's available."

More seriously, Clarke said selectors had not erred by shunning an extra spinner in Chennai. India, by comparison, chose three and they took every Australian wicket, with Ravi Ashwin leading the way with 12.

"At the end of the day you have got to pick what you think is your best XI and back that," Clarke said. 

"You can talk about selection as much as you like but the 11 players you select have got to perform better than we did in this test.

"Look at the amount of wickets fast bowling got compared to spin for the Australian team. We are not India, we are a different team. We have different fast bowlers to the Indian fast bowlers. We have different spinners to the Indian spinners."

Dhoni, the man of the match, suggested Australia's selection had not been a good fit for the venue.

"They went with their strength. If you see Australia now they rely a lot on their fast bowlers," Dhoni said. "I think at the start of this series they wanted to go with what their strength was. After four days of cricket maybe Michael would think it would have been better if they would have gone with another spinner."

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- Sydney Morning Herald

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