Melbourne: Uncapped left-arm spinner Xavier Doherty, who has been included in the Australian squad for the Ashes first Test at the expense of Nathan Hauritz, has said that he is not the next Shane Warne.
He further said he would make an impact if handed his baggy green cap for an Ashes showdown with England at the Gabba starting Thursday.
The Australian selectors are taking a chance on Doherty, who boasts a modest first-class average of 48.26 from 35 matches for Tasmania.
Doherty doesn’t expect to torment England like Warne did, but is confident he can be an X-factor in the Test arena, The Courier Mail reports.
“I hope so. I guess Warnie is a tough comparison, I don’t think I’m going to take 800 wickets in Test cricket but I hope to make some impact, starting this week. I’m on top of the world at the moment, I couldn’t be happier. When I got the phone call I couldn’t really believe it. I’m really excited,” he said after his selection in the squad.
Doherty has yet to learn if he will play in Brisbane, but it is understood he will be given the nod ahead of leg-spinning all-rounder Steve Smith.
Warne’s former mentor Terry Jenner has spent the past seven years working with Doherty and believes the Tasmanian is ready for a Test call-up.
“Xavier has improved a massive amount in the last 12 to 18 months. He never used to spin the ball. If you’re going to take a punt there’s good reason to take a punt on Xavier Doherty. He’s been a steady improver and unfortunately Nathan has dropped off,” Jenner said.