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England confusion over spin stretches back to Salisbury’s forgotten code | Andy Bull

With their bewildering array of spin options in Bangladesh, it seems Alastair Cook’s side don’t know what they want. Little has changed from a fiasco in 1992

Ian Salisbury tells a good tale about his Test debut. It was in the summer of 1992, and England were playing Pakistan at Lord’s. Salisbury was the first leg spinner England had picked in a generation, since Robin Hobbs in 1971. And he was treated, Hobbs said at the time, “like something that had dropped from the moon”. In the days before the Test, it became obvious that England’s wicketkeeper, Jack Russell, couldn’t pick Salisbury’s bowling. So Russell and the coaches came up with a cunning plan. They told Salisbury he should communicate with Russell in code, by turning one way at the top of his run-up before he bowled a googly, and the other before he bowled a leg break.

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