I’m always excited when I see another leg-spinner come onto the scene, even if he’s representing the old enemy.
Today, Mason Crane had his first bowl for England in the Sydney Test against Australia.
He was called up on potential, more so than great numbers, as his first-class stats read jsut 75 wickets at the modest average of 43.96.
Having only seen a little bit of Crane from online streams (playing for NSW last year and in a tour match earlier this season), it was hard to know exactly what he would dish up on the big stage.
But what was clear was his hunger for wickets.
Giving the ball a big rip.
Bowling a very straight line.
Chris Rogers, having seen Crane play live for his country Hampshire, described him as a very aggressive, high-energy spinner.
With a spring in his step, Crane approaches the crease with real purpose. His arms do plenty of flailing before he delivers as well, possibly to confuse the batsman. It’s a smooth, front-on action that’s very easy on the eye.
His first spell in Test cricket was very respectable: five overs, no maidens, 0-14. Didn’t concede any boundaries either, bowling to David Warner and Usman Khawaja.
Shane Warne said he believed Crane bowled too straight and should’ve bowled wider to the lefties in an attempt to bowl them through the gate.
However, Joe Root was more than happy with the tight bowling and that was the way Crane continued to go.
Crane was a little unlucky to not have the wicket of Khawaja, managing to find the edge of the left-hander, only for it to fly between keeper and first slip.
For the day, Crane went wicketless. But the ball went to the boundary off his bowling only three times in 17 overs.
A tough introduction for the young wrist-spinner, but one the English should definitely be persisting with.