Brisbane: Former Australian off-spinner Peter Taylor has backed left-arm spinner Michael Beer to succeed where Xavier Doherty and the eight other spinners selected since leg-spin legend Shane Warne’s retirement have failed.
Taylor, the man whose selection caused similar jaw-dropping alarm 24 years ago, has also cautioned against dismissing Beer prematurely.
Beer has been playing club cricket in Melbourne for less than a year and has appeared in just five first-class games for Western Australia, but was named in Australia’s 12-man squad for the third Ashes Test in Perth.
The 26-year-old is the 10th spin bowler and the most unusual to be selected since the retirement of leg-spin legend Shane Warne nearly four years ago.
“I can certainly identify with how he might be feeling, and my experience was a good one. He’s just got to have a positive slant on it and say, ‘What do I lose if I’m not a roaring success?’ It’s an opportunity, that’s how I approached it,” a newspaper quoted Taylor, as saying.
“Once he can get over the surreal nature of it, he’s just got to put his head down and get on with it. I know all these articles are being written, ‘Oh, they’ll target him’. Well that’ll be to his advantage if they do that.”
“If they think they’re going to run at him and destroy him, that’s an opportunity, isn’t it? For a finger spinner, that’s good when they start coming at you. Who knows? His selection might be inspired,” he added.
Taylor had justified his selectors with a stunning 6/78 on debut against England at Sydney, but he was unable to repeat such a feat again in his Test career (12 more matches between 1987 and 1992).