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SYDNEY: Australia’s chairman of selectors John Inverarity yeserday urged caution over producing a generation of chuckers by teaching the doosra to the country’s aspiring spin bowlers.
The doosra, the difficult-to-bowl leg-spinner delivered with an off-spinning action, has been a key weapon for leading sub-continent slow bowlers in Test cricket, including Sri Lanka’s retired world-record holder Muttiah Muralitharan.
Muralitharan claimed last month that Australia’s failure to produce a top-line spinner since Shane Warne’s retirement from Tests in 2007, can be attributed to the regimented attitude of the nation’s coaches. But former Test batsman Inverarity, 68, has cautioned against the clamour among Australia’s spin fraternity to embrace the doosra.
“That’s a question of integrity for Cricket Australia (CA),” Inverarity told a cricket luncheon in Melbourne yesterday.
“If you’re going to bowl a doosra, that’s how you do it,” Inverarity said in fielding a question from a luncheon guest about whether the doosra constituted chucking.
“It’s a serious issue. We’ve got to keep our integrity,” he said.
“We’ve got to teach our bowlers to bowl properly.
“I’m all for them learning it but it has got to be within the rules, for the integrity of the game and Australia’s cricket heritage.
“We should always run a measure over them to make sure they’re bowling legitimately (according to the 15-degree threshold rule for elbow flexion).”
Inverarity’s comments are likely to be met with scepticism in Asia, where most bowlers of the ‘doosra’ originate.
Pakistani offspinner Saeed Ajmal, the highest-profile bowler of the delivery today, was cleared by the International Cricket Council in 2009 after his action was thoroughly tested by an Australian University. Australia World Twenty20 captain George Bailey returned from the World T20 in Sri Lanka this month calling for CA to look closely at coaching young spinners to bowl the doosra.