It isn’t the easiest place in the world to bowl spin, but since moving to Perth in 2010, Michael Beer has been a success. Looking at him up-close, you could be excused for thinking he was a fast-bowler. At nearly 190 cm and with plenty of beef behind him, Beer is in fact a spinner, and a quality one at that.
The left-armer had a breakout year in 2010, taking 16 wickets in just five first-class appearances. The impressive start to his career prompted talks of a shock call-up to the Ashes squad. It didn’t take long for rumours to become reality, as Beer joined the squad for the third Test in Perth. Although he didn’t play, it wasn’t long until the tweaker donned the Baggy Green.
Beer earned selection in the fifth and final Test of the 2010/11 Ashes series at the SCG. The spinner almost made the dream start, when he had Australia’s tormentor Alastair Cook caught at mid-on. Alas, the third umpire intervened, ruling Beer had in fact overstepped. Cook, who was on 46 at the time, went on make 189.
Michael Beer has played one Test since, where he picked up two wickets against the West Indies in Trinidad. Remarkably, he opened the bowling in each innings.
On the domestic front, Beer has enjoyed plenty of success with the ball for the Warriors. He has taken 70 wickets in 28 first-class appearances, including a career best 7/46. The Western Australian has often used his unique height to exploit plenty of bounce to trouble opposition batsmen.
Beer has constantly performed well for his state in the shorter forms of the game, especially in the T20 arena. He has opened the bowling in most of the 26 matches he has played for his KFC T20 Big bash League side the Perth Scorchers, and boasts a miserly economy rate of just 6.12.
Beer’s ability to swing the ball in with the new ball is his biggest asset in T20, with top-order batsmen struggling to combat the combination of bounce, angle, turn and pace.
His form in the 2012/13 BBL looked set to earn him a recall to the national side, only for injury to cruel what would have been a storied return to Test cricket.