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Australia need a world class spinner: Nielsen

cricket Updated: Jan 23, 2008 15:15 IST

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Noting that pitches all over the world are making tweakers a lethal weapon for the teams, Australian coach Tim Nielsen says developing a world class spinner should be a priority of the world champions.

"It is of critical importance. If you look at pitches around the world these days, spinners are crucial in deciding the outcome of games.

"We have been forced to use a few part-timers recently in Andrew Symonds and Michael Clarke, but it's important not to lean on them too much because you want to look after them over the long haul," Nielsen was quoted as saying in 'The Age'.

With Brad Hogg and Stuart MacGill no longer young and turning 37 next month, Nielsen said rather than investing in new talent, the available bowlers should be nurtured properly.

"Spin bowling is not necessarily something you are going to do brilliantly at the age of 21. I think our next long-term spinner will come from the ranks we already have, rather than unearthing a new one.

"(Daniel) Cullen has already had a taste of Test and ODI cricket and (Cullen) Bailey is talented despite not having his best year, and I think it's important that we give them time, rather than push them out of a sense of urgency."

The Australian coach also suggested that Australia have to be patient while the young spinners graduate to the next level.

"In many ways, you have to approach it as not working to our time frame, but to the time frame of the young spinners," he said.

"It's all very well to say that we need to get a young spinner into the national team, but you can't just burn them if they're not ready. This has to be about long-term planning."