Cow Corner

Not the White stuff

Cow Corner

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As the first Test in Bangalore petered out into a draw, don't you think Ricky Ponting wished that chubby blonde bloke was standing in the slips talking about drawing the nut flush on the river and swinging his arms around ready for a bowl.

But Shane Warne is now a distant memory and Australia's spin bowling options are as dry as the Atacama Desert.

Considering the Atacama Desert is 50 times drier than California's Death Valley - and that's called Death - we are not under selling how bare the cupboard is.

"Leg-spinner" Cameron White made his debut during the match and although he managed to deny Sachin Tendulkar the honour of scoring the most Test runs in history, his match figures of one for 88 on a drying, turning pitch won't be enough to get the bunting out in Bairnsdale, Victoria.

Cameron White was the 402nd player to be awarded the Baggy Green before a Test, the fact that fellow "spinners" Beau Casson and Dan Cullen were 401st and 397th respectively underlines that Australia are still searching for their go to slow bowler.

Lest we forget that White only got his blue after octogenarian Bryce McGain (well he's 36 technically) went home injured and original squad pick, offie Jason Krejza, was overlooked.

Krejza was not exactly smashing down the selectors' collective doors with a first-class bowling average of 50, making White look like Richie Benaud in a UHT with his effort of 38.55.

White is not going to scare anyone - his six Pura Cup wickets last season cost him 47 each and when at Somerset, he rarely even bowled himself.

Everyone knows it's flat at Taunton but 15 first-class wickets at 48.20 in 2006 and 20 at 32.75 make Graeme Swann look like Bishan Bedi.

Indeed White is quite like an English spinner in as much that he doesn't turn it much. The fact that he can give the ball a fearful whack just continues to remind you that Australia have gone to the sub-continent and decided to pick the equivalent of Ian Blackwell as their sole spinner.

So winning the Ashes next year seems quite simple. The worldwide credit crunch hits clouds hard with no more rain until next September. This sees groundsmen prepare sub-saharan bunsens around the county grounds of England and Wales which helps Monty and Adil Rashid bowl out a bemused Australia on the fifth day in the first four Tests. The tourists even drag an arthritic Warne out of a casino in Vauxhall for the fifth Test but it's too late as Freddie falls off the top level of a bus once again.

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