Axing spinner cost Australia the Ashes says Warne

Shane Warne said today the "staggering" decision to leave out Nathan Hauritz had cost Australia the Ashes.

England's 197-run win, achieved with more than a day to spare, in the fifth and final test at the Oval this morning (NZT) gave them the series 2-1.



The south London ground has a reputation for assisting spin bowlers.



But Australia chose not to recall off-spinner Hauritz, the lone specialist slow bowler in their squad.



Instead they opted to stick with the four-man pace attack that had bowled them to victory by an innings and 80 runs in the fourth test at Headingley, a ground that traditionally favours the quicks.



England did field an off-spinner at the Oval in Graeme Swann and he took a valuable eight wickets for 158 runs in the match.



"There is bound to be a lot more talk about why Australia did not choose Nathan Hauritz," Australia leg-spin great Warne wrote in his Times column.



"Personally, I have to say that I was staggered by the decision," Warne, one of the greatest bowlers cricket has known, added.



"I would always want to have a spinner in the side for variety's sake, but I think this time Australia simply misread the pitch," said Warne, who retired from test cricket after starring in Australia's 2006/07 5-0 Ashes series thrashing of England.



Groundsman Bill Gordon copped some flak in the Australian press for preparing a 'result' wicket rather than the traditional batting-friendly surface for which the Oval is known.



"The pitch wasn't a minefield, but it was ordinary," Warne said. "I am not making a big thing about it, because it produced some decent cricket.



"Other than Australia's mad couple of hours in the first innings (when they were bowled out for 160), the scores were not that low.



"In a way, you could say that it was a typical Oval wicket - except the first day was more like your normal day four."



However, Warne stressed: "I do not believe that it was doctored in favour of England. It is not as though they picked two spinners, and they couldn't have known that Hauritz would be left out."



Warne though said Hauritz's omission raised questions for the selectors and Australia captain Ricky Ponting who, in Hauritz's absence, had to rely on part-time spinner Marcus North.



"I do not know who had the final say on selection, whether it was the selectors themselves, or Ricky, or what degree of input came from Tim Nielsen, the coach.



"We all make mistakes and somebody, somewhere, will have to take the blame for this one.



"Regardless of that, I am sure that after an hour's play on Thursday, if not earlier, Ricky would have been thinking to himself at slip: 'I could have used Hauritz here.'



"I've said all along Hauritz and Graeme Swann are pretty similar bowlers, and we saw how successful Swann was with his eight wickets in the match."



Warne said conditions had made it a bad toss to lose for Ponting.



"If Ricky had called correctly and batted first, things probably would have been different. England had to win and effectively they gambled fifty-fifty on getting the opportunity to put runs on the board first time."



Ponting, speaking to reporters today, said Australia had erred in leaving out Hauritz.



"We probably got that wrong," he admitted. "I don't think anyone in their wildest dreams thought the wicket would play the way it did. In hindsight, a specialist spinner would have been pretty handy out there."

Sourced from: The New Zealand Herald

News
people Ex-wife of John Lennon has died at her home in Spain
Sport
Chelsea
football
Arts and Entertainment
Buttoned up: Ryan Reynolds with Helen Mirren in ‘Woman in Gold’
filmFor every box-office smash in his Hollywood career, there's always been a misconceived let-down. Now he says it's time for a reboot
News
people
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Peter Ackroyd on Alfred Hitchcock: How London shaped the director's art and obsessions

Peter Ackroyd on Alfred Hitchcock

Ackroyd has devoted his literary career to chronicling the capital and its characters. He tells John Walsh why he chose the master of suspense as his latest subject
Ryan Reynolds interview: The actor is branching out with Nazi art-theft drama Woman in Gold

Ryan Reynolds branches out in Woman in Gold

For every box-office smash in Ryan Reynolds' Hollywood career, there's always been a misconceived let-down. It's time for a rethink and a reboot, the actor tells James Mottram
Why Robin Williams safeguarded himself against a morbid trend in advertising

Stars safeguard against morbid advertising

As film-makers and advertisers make increasing posthumous use of celebrities' images, some stars are finding new ways of ensuring that they rest in peace
General Election 2015: The masterminds behind the scenes

The masterminds behind the election

How do you get your party leader to embrace a message and then stick to it? By employing these people
Machine Gun America: The amusement park where teenagers go to shoot a huge range of automatic weapons

Machine Gun America

The amusement park where teenagers go to shoot a huge range of automatic weapons
The ethics of pet food: Why are we are so selective in how we show animals our love?

The ethics of pet food

Why are we are so selective in how we show animals our love?
How Tansy Davies turned 9/11 into her opera 'Between Worlds'

How a composer turned 9/11 into her opera 'Between Worlds'

Tansy Davies makes her operatic debut with a work about the attack on the Twin Towers. Despite the topic, she says it is a life-affirming piece
11 best bedside tables

11 best bedside tables

It could be the first thing you see in the morning, so make it work for you. We find night stands, tables and cabinets to wake up to
Italy vs England player ratings: Did Andros Townsend's goal see him beat Harry Kane and Wayne Rooney to top marks?

Italy vs England player ratings

Did Townsend's goal see him beat Kane and Rooney to top marks?
Danny Higginbotham: An underdog's tale of making the most of it

An underdog's tale of making the most of it

Danny Higginbotham on being let go by Manchester United, annoying Gordon Strachan, utilising his talents to the full at Stoke and plunging into the world of analysis
Audley Harrison's abusers forget the debt he's due, but Errol Christie will always remember what he owes the police

Steve Bunce: Inside Boxing

Audley Harrison's abusers forget the debt he's due, but Errol Christie will always remember what he owes the police
No postcode? No vote

Floating voters

How living on a houseboat meant I didn't officially 'exist'
Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin

By Reason of Insanity

Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin
Power dressing is back – but no shoulderpads!

Power dressing is back

But banish all thoughts of Eighties shoulderpads
Spanish stone-age cave paintings 'under threat' after being re-opened to the public

Spanish stone-age cave paintings in Altamira 'under threat'

Caves were re-opened to the public