West Indies spinner Bishoo in frame for Melbourne start

MELBOURNE, (Reuters) – West Indies are considering a recall for leg-spinner Devendra Bishoo as they look to fight their way back into the series in the second test against Australia later this week. The tourists’ bowlers were flogged to all parts of the Bellerive Oval during the innings and 212-run defeat in Hobart which opened the three-match series.

Left-arm orthodox spinner Jomel Warrican, playing only his second test, took three wickets in Australia’s only innings but they came at the cost of 158 runs as the home batsmen ran rampant. Bishoo took 6-80 against the Australians in the Caribbean earlier this year and again showed his class in the drawn tour match against a Victoria XI at the weekend, even if his two wickets came at a cost of 60 runs. “He bowled better,” West Indies coach Phil Simmons told reporters in Geelong. “There was a lot more drive in his deliveries and everything like that.

 Devendra Bishoo
Devendra Bishoo

“We’ll see what happens over the next three days and we’ll see what the MCG wicket is like, then we can make a decision about the combination we’re going with.” The Guyanese, a wicket-taker in a West Indies squad that appears to have very few of them, made his test debut in 2011 in a maiden campaign that earned him the ICC’s Emerging Cricketer of the Year award. After his breakthrough year, however, he lost his mojo in two series on the unforgiving tracks of India and Bangladesh and the second test against England earlier this year was his first in three years. Another heavy workload against the English in Grenada — 51 overs in the tourists’ first innings — took its toll on more than his enthusiasm, leaving him with virtually no skin on his spinning fingers.

He was fit again when the Australians visited in June and his six victims in Roseau included Brad Haddin, who was dismissed by a wonder ball that pitched on leg, turned sharply and crashed into the top of the wicketkeeper’s off stump. Comparisons were made with the Shane Warne “Ball of the Century” to dismiss Mike Gatting in 1993 and the delivery illustrated that Bishoo can get as much turn from the ball as any world class spinner. The drop-in wicket at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) is unlikely to offer too much for the spinners but even if the 30-year-old does not get the nod for the Boxing Day match, he could get the call for the third test in Sydney. The Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG), which hosts the final test from Jan. 3, traditionally offers some turn and Australia have included two spinners in their squad for that match.

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