'Shield pitches hampering Oz quest to produce next-gen world-class Test cricketers', says Hussey

Sydney, Nov. 18 (ANI): Veteran Test batsman Michael Hussey reckons the 'juiced-up' bouncy Sheffield Shield pitches are hampering Australia's quest to produce the next generation of world-class Test cricketers.

The quality of Australian decks at first-class level has come under scrutiny, with the six states having collectively posted sub-250 scores on 25 occasions in the 14 Sheffield Shield matches played so far this summer.

Last summer, no batsman managed 1000 runs in the Sheffield Shield, with Australian and Tasmanian opener Ed Cowan topping the runscoring list with 948 at 59.25.

While Australian cricket is on the hunt for new batting talents to eventually succeed veteran duo Hussey and Ricky Ponting at Test level, the man nicknamed Mr Cricket believes the search is not aided by bowler-friendly domestic decks.

"I don't think the current wickets are helping in creating and developing Test match cricketers. It's hard for me to accurately comment because I'm not in the board room and I'm not chatting to the curators, but I think it's an issue to be honest. You have to look at the conditions guys are playing at in the level below," News.com.au quoted Hussey, as saying.

According to the report, while bowlers will dispute Hussey's assessment, the 37-year-old believes the current generation of Australian domestic cricketers can become mentally tougher by playing on batter-friendly pitches.

"It's about creating Test match cricketers, we need to teach guys to bat for six hours. It takes a lot of skill and concentration to be able to bat for six hours and on these pitches - it's very difficult," he said.

"We also want to try and develop spin bowlers, but they don't even get a bowl in first-class matches which is disappointing. If we want to develop fast bowlers for a Test match, they need to be patient and disciplined for long periods of time," he added.

"They don't have to be on these pitches because they can get it there or thereabouts and they will get wickets anyway," he concluded. (ANI)


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