Shane Warne has earmarked Matt Parkinson as a potential Ashes bolter and believes England could hand the youngster a Test cap against India to blood him in the longest format. The legendary leg-spinner claimed that he was mighty impressed with the Lancashire man, terming him ‘exciting’.
While Australia, for three decades, have been unsuccessful in their mission of finding their very own Ian Botham, England too have not had success in developing their own Shane Warne. Mason Crane, Scott Borthwick and Adil Rashid have all been tried in Test cricket to no avail, and while finger-spinners (Graeme Swann and Moeen Ali) have operated with success, the wait for a premier leg-spinner in Test cricket has continued.
Warne himself, however, is of the opinion that Matt Parkinson could be the next great spin hope for the Three Lions. Parkinson has cemented himself as the understudy to Adil Rashid in white-ball cricket, but Warne believes that the young leggie could be a potential Ashes bolter. Parkinson has had a tremendous start to the 2021 County season, having taken 24 wickets at 19.75 a piece, and Warne has reckoned that the Three Lions could give him a debut in the India series to get him ready by the time the Ashes arrives.
"I think Parkinson is very, very good. I really like the look of the way he bowls and he is a great addition to the white-ball cricket, but also I see him playing a huge part in Test cricket, especially in Australia," Warne was quoted as saying by cricket.com.au.
"I wouldn't be surprised in that first Test match at the Gabba if he is pencilled in the XI. I think of the Australian conditions, the pace he bowls, the amount of bounce and spin he gets, I think he is perfectly suited to Australian conditions.
"So I think he has a big role to play and he might even play a Test match through the (northern) summer (against India).
"I wouldn't be surprised if they have a look at him during the India series thinking about the Ashes down the track."
When Parkinson was handed his maiden international cap in 2019, he was deemed ‘too slow’ for international cricket, with experts being critical of the pace at which he bowled. However, despite raging criticism, the 24-year-old has stuck to his guns and has now found success bowling in the 48-55 mph range. Warne said that he was a fan of Parkinson bowling unapologetically slow, and described the youngster as an ‘exciting’ prospect.
"He is pretty exciting, isn't he? I love watching him. I've been watching him from afar and very impressed so far,” Warne said.
"The good thing is a lot of people would have told him to bowl fast, but he has stuck to being true to himself and what he is good at.
"If I wanted a spinner to bowl fast, they would be called medium-pacers.
"Spin bowlers are spin bowlers because they spin the ball and he does that. If you swing, seam or spin the ball you will be successful no matter what format it is. He definitely does that and I think he bowls a beautiful pace."
Parkinson, however, did not make the England squad for the first two Tests against India, with the Three Lions opting to pick Dom Bess and Jack Leach.