Doherty needs game-changer

XAVIER Doherty admits that   his game has stalled somewhat this summer, and that he needs to add some versatility to it to reinvent himself at the highest level.

The former George Town and Launceston left-arm orthodox spinner was in and out of Australia's 50-over team this summer, playing three of the five games  but taking just two wickets at 48.50, at an economy rate of 3.59.

This came after the 31-year-old  managed just two wickets in six games against India at 141.50 at an economy rate of 6.15 in October and November.

He was then overlooked for James Muirhead in Australia's Twenty20 team for the series against England, with Muirhead and Brad Hogg preferred in the T20 World Cup squad.

His rollerdhcoaster time of it also included a failed reintroduction to Test cricket in March and being dropped for Fawad Ahmed for the 50-over series against England following the Ashes series in England.

Doherty said he needed to continue to improve as a spinner to  get matches at the highest level, with the subsequent by-product of this improvement being more wickets.

``I think my game has just stopped moving forward this year,'' he said yesterday. ``I'd certainly like to see more wickets, which is the feedback that I got [from the Australian coaching staff].

``I can't argue with that, as I only took a couple of wickets in the games that I played, but I felt I bowled pretty well and contributed.

``When you bowl through the middle overs of a one-day game, you tend to take less wickets anyway, but the wickets you do take are more important.

``I felt like I played that role really well, but it's about being a bit more versatile and being able to be used at the start and at the end [of an innings].''

Doherty has played 54 ODIs, taking 51 wickets at 38.96 at an economy rate of 4.73, and 11 T20Is, taking 10 wickets at 30 and an economy rate of 7.89.

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