Australia's spin options for the Ashes

Since the retirement of Shane Warne, the Baggy Greens have struggled to fill the void

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The Independent Online

Australia will contest the 2013 Ashes series in England coming off a year of under-performance prompting much conjecture over the best side they can put out

Having just been whitewashed 4-0 in the series against India in which problems on and off the field were highlighted, the lack of a Test match quality spinner is perhaps the most notable of all their issues.

Match winning spin options in the Australian side have been non-existent since the retirement of Shane Warne. This has been a contributing factor in their lack of success in the past year, and it is unlikely they will have found a spinner capable of troubling England when they begin the Ashes in July.

With the possibility of leg-spinner Fawad Ahmed getting a call up to the side after applying for Australian citizenship, we look at the contenders for the spin bowlers position in the Australian side...


Nathan Lyon

The man in possession, Lyon has done an admirable job since making his debut. But the off spinner struggled to impose himself in India and against top level opposition overall.

Test Stats

Matches 21

Wickets 67

Average 35.17

Strike rate 68.7


Fawad Ahmed

The leg-spinner has claimed 39 wickets in his 13 first class games in Australian state cricket. May make a late charge for the Ashes as Australia ponder their options.

First class stats

Matches 13

Wickets 39

Bowling average 32.20

Strike rate 53.3


Xavier Doherty

The left arm spinner was brought in for the 2010 Ashes in Australia; largely as a ploy to get Kevin Pietersen out. He failed miserably. His four Tests have garnered him seven wickets at an average of 78.

Test Stats

Matches 4

Wickets 7

Average 78.28

Strike rate 131.1


Glen Maxwell

Selected for his batting as much as his bowling, he has batted in the lower order and contributed four wickets with his off-spin in his only Test so far, and has been expensive in his ODI and first class career. Has the backing of Shane Warne.

Test Stats

Matches 1

Wickets 4

Average 31.75

Strike rate 39


Steve Smith

Another all-rounder, Smith has moved up the batting order in recent series to patch up a weak line-up. His bowling is inconsistent, but he remains capable of producing wickets with his leg-spin.

Test Stats

Matches 6

Wickets 4

Average 70.75

Strike rate 108.0