Melbourne: Even as the teams get ready for next year's World Cup in Australia and New Zealand, Michael Hussey has predicted that spin will not play much of a part in the mega-tournament and only "mystery spinners" like Saeed Ajmal and Sunil Narine have a chance of succeeding.
"We have got very flat one-day pitches here in Australia and certainly New Zealand. New Zealand grounds are very small, with the field restrictions these days you can only have four players outside the circle. With batting power plays plus much bigger bats it makes one-day in cricket for spin bowlers in this country and New Zealand extremely difficult," former Australian batsman Hussey said.
"Other than probably (Pakistan's) Ajmal and (West Indies off spinner) Sunil Narine who are mystery spinners, I am fearful that spin won't play much of a part in the upcoming World Cup," the former Australian batsman said while addressing the audience as the guest speaker at the Melbourne Cricket Club's annual Bradman Luncheon.
The 39-year-old Hussey, known as "Mr Cricket" for his passion and meticulous preparation, said Australia will probably rely on Glen Maxwell and Michael Clarke to bowl a few overs rather than go with an out and out spinner. During his address, Hussey said bowlers with dubious actions have been able to beat the system too easily. Hussey, who retired in 2012 after playing 79 Tests and 185 One-day Internationals for his country, termed illegal actions, corruption and the concentration of power with the 'Big Three' nations as burning issues.
The International Cricket Council has cracked down on suspect actions in recent months and Ajmal had several of his deliveries -- not just his doosra -- tested in Brisbane this week. The results, to be released within a fortnight, will determine whether he is banned for Australia's series against Pakistan in the UAE in October. Two more off spinners, Zimbabwe's Prosper Utseya and Bangladesh's Sohag Gazi, have been reported in the past week, taking the total to seven in the last 10 months.
Hussey welcomed the crackdown on chucking, but said that the system would be far from perfect until the technology exists to measure how much bowlers flex their elbows in match conditions when they are tired and straining for wickets. "Players seem to be able to beat the system a little bit too easily at the moment and I think it's something that needs to be looked at," Hussey was quoted as saying by 'The Age'.
"More people seem to be getting called around the world. But ideally where I would like to get to is that you've got a measuring device in-game rather than sending someone off to a laboratory. It would be great to measure it properly," he said.