Sydney, Sept.13 : Bryce McCain, Australia's 36-year-old leg-spinning debutant believes that a recent bowling session with Shane Warne will help him to counter a possible onslaught by India's batsmen on next month's arduous four-Test tour.
McGain, who has suddenly become Australia's leading spinner, said Warne tutored him last month.
According to the Sydney Morning Herald, McGain and fellow Victoria leg-spinner Cameron White spent some time bowling with Warne at the MCG indoor nets, a session that McGain found invaluable.
"I've followed Shane's career closely, as I have with all spinners in different conditions because that's basically how I've learnt to bowl," McGain said.
"He went over there (to India) three times and on the first two tours he wasn't that successful, but on the third tour he was so he filled me in on some of his experiences.
"That was very important because it gave me a plan and a mindset (for the A tour) and I was able to go straight to that."
While giving away none of the technical details passed on by the leg-spinner, McGain said that Warne prepared him for a full on assault by India batsmen.
"They did exactly what I expected. They went ultra-hard and tried to whack me out of the park at every opportunity.
"You know they're going to hit you. They're not going to wait for a bad ball. They're going to hit you straight away.
"In my first over the batsman slog-swept me over mid-wicket but next ball he was on his way leg before."
If he plays, as expected, McGain will be the oldest Australia debutant since fellow leggie Bob Holland played his first Test at the age of 38 in 1984.
Such is the rarity of Australians playing their first Test at such an age that Holland is the only other debutant aged 36 or older born in the 20th century. McGain had played just five Sheffield Shield matches for Victoria up until last season, when he played all 11 games to be by far the best performed spinner in state cricket, taking 38 wickets at 33.
By contrast, Jason Krejza, who has also been selected for the tour, took a modest 18 wickets in seven games for Tasmania at 47.11.
His selection ahead of Dan Cullen, who recently lost his Cricket Australia contract, sends a strong message to the young South Australian about how far he has slipped from view after making his Test debut in Bangladesh two years ago. Cullen took 18 Sheffield Shield wickets at 49 last summer.
There is great irony in Krejza's selection because the last untried off spinner taken to India, Nathan Hauritz in 2004, moved to NSW when Queensland dropped him from its state side.
Story first published: Saturday, September 13, 2008, 12:12 [IST]
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