Craig: I don't need to chuck to get wickets

New Zealand

Uncapped Otago off-spinner Mark Craig is set to make his international debut for New Zealand against the West Indies in June, and is sure he'll do well despite not having a doosra in his arsenal.

Uncapped Otago off-spinner Mark Craig is set to make his international debut for New Zealand against the West Indies in June, and is sure he'll do well despite not having a doosra in his arsenal.

Craig was called up, with just 22 first-class games and an average of 43, when Jeetan Patel turned down the call-up in order to stay with Warwickshire. The Volts offie feels doosras and carom balls amount to chucking, and he's happy not to bowl the wrong-un.

Craig said of needing a doosra: "I don't think that's necessarily correct. I mean, you look at Graeme Swann, he's been a very successful off spinner and he doesn't throw the ball at all.

"He's been a conventional off spinner so I think there's still a place in the game for those guys that don't throw the ball. It just means that you've got to work that little bit harder in terms of deceiving guys in the air and things like that, if you don't have the one that goes the other way.

"I basically just try and give the ball as big a rip as I can and spin the ball big and get a bit of drop on the ball and bring in that bounce and try and catch a glove or go through-the-gate to the righties or lbw or nick off to the lefties."

He was also excited to be bowling in tandem with leg-spinner Ish Sodhi, not something that often happens for New Zealand, and he said: "It's a real advantage, especially if you've two different spinners and one's going one way and one's going the other.

"You can definitely put a lot more pressure on the batting team and it allows you to dictate a little bit more."

One man who will be licking his lips at the prospect of getting at Craig's offies will be Chris Gayle, who loves to have a go at, let's be honest, average spinners. But Craig is undaunted.

Craig said: "I'm not over-awed by bowling to him. It's a good opportunity, not for bragging rights, but if I get him out it's going to be pretty exciting.

"I don't mind getting hit out of the ground every now and then. Then the job's about getting him out."

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