Arjun Nair bats for the NSW Blues in the Sheffield Shield match against Victoria at Traeger Park in Alice Springs in March.
Arjun Nair bats for the NSW Blues in the Sheffield Shield match against Victoria at Traeger Park in Alice Springs in March. Matt King

Spinner hones his skill watching YouTube

CRICKET: An 18-year-old off-spinner who started learning the tricks of the art by watching YouTube clips will be a key for the Cricket Australia XI squad competing in this month's domestic one-day competition.

Canberra-born Arjun Nair is the youngest player in the CAXI squad that takes on the Queensland Bulls in the tournament opener at Allan Border Field in Brisbane tomorrow.

Nair, who has a full contract with the NSW Blues, has played two Sheffield Shield matches, and is now targeting a Big Bash League debut with the Sydney Thunder.

Nair has honed his mysterious "carrom ball” delivery, which turns the wrong way to an ordinary off-spinner.

After learning how to bowl it by watching clips of Sunil Narine and Ravi Ashwin in the IPL, over the winter he got the chance to show it off to Sri Lankan legend Muttiah Muralitharan.

"He was happy with it (the carrom ball),” Nair told Fox Sports. "(But) his main advice was just to continue working on my stock ball. I have a lot of variations but without a good stock ball those variations aren't much use.”

Queensland all-rounder James Bazley, 21, will be a teammate of Nair tomorrow against the Bulls, who will be skippered by Jason Floros and include Australian Test batsman Joe Burns at the top of the order.

Former international Brad Hodge has taken charge of the CAXI outfit for its second season in the competition as coach.

Western Australia plays South Australia in Perth on Sunday and Tasmania lines up against Queensland in Brisbane on Monday.



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