Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 17 September 2014

The Ashes: Shane Warne thirsty for a spinner ... but it’s not Beer

Shane Warne is convinced Australia will take a specialist spinner into the Boxing Day Test but believes selectors have chosen the wrong man for the job in Michael Beer.

Beer, who has taken 16 first-class wickets at an average of 43 in seven matches, was a shock inclusion in the 12-man squad for the Perth Test and appears likely to play in Melbourne after he was retained in an unchanged squad ahead of the MCG clash.

But with the Ashes battle delicately poised at 1-1, Warne has called for the in-form Nathan Hauritz to be rushed back into the side for the Melbourne and Sydney Tests.

“I think Beer was a horses for courses selection (in Perth),” Warne wrote in a blog for the Australian Daily Telegraph. “What has impressed me about Hauritz, he's gone back and taken wickets and made runs.

“As I said before the Test series, I think Hauritz deserves first chance and if he didn't work out, try the next in line.

“So I think it still stands that Hauritz deserves a chance for Melbourne and Sydney.”

Hauritz, who was controversially dumped at the expense of Xavier Doherty before the first Test in Brisbane, has taken 19 wickets at 26.78 in six domestic first-class appearances this season.

While he does not agree with their current choice, Warne urged selectors not to go in without a specialist spinner.

“Historically, (the) Melbourne Test match has always needed a spinner, as you don't always pick a team for the first innings,” he explained. “It's hard to change a winning team but I think a spinner will play. The only reason a spinner won't play is if Australia want to go with five seamers, including [Shane] Watson, and bowl lots of chin music at our beloved, friendly Poms.”

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