Highlights of the week - Wrist spinners have some fun

Adithya Sundar 17:12 21/12/2019
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Kuldeep is one of India's chief wicket-taking threats.

Wrist spin, an art that was almost considered dying at the start of the decade, has found resurgence with the increase in popularity of T20 cricket.

The brand of slow bowlers who specialize in wrist spin are all unique in their own way and are possibly united by their aggression and rotundness.

There are the big spinning ones like the late Abdul Qadir, the great Shane Warne or even Sachin Tendulkar, who have been successful with the ball in their hand to varying degrees.

Then there are the the ones who achieved success on the illusion of spin like Anil Kumble or more recently Piyush Chawla.

The once million dollar baby of Indian cricket, Chawla, dismissed the great Sachin Tendulkar with a googly as a sixteen-year-old in domestic cricket. His crowing moment of glory.

In the past three seasons of the IPL, he has played 34 games, picked up 30 wickets at an economy of just under nine runs per over. He is the only IPL bowler to have conceded more than 4000 runs.

To be recruited in 2019 for that price, to play in a team that already has Imran Tahir, Harbhajan Singh, Mitchell Santner, Karn Sharma and Ravindra Jadeja, that must have been some googly!

Leg-spin like coding, is a useful skill to learn in the modern era. Something that might come in handy even later on in one’s life. It is the elixir of life for a cricketer. Just ask the relentless Pravin Tambe. His name in the auction list was reminiscent of Harry Potter’s name in the Goblet of fire. Not even Harry knew how he got picked,

CSK must have been gutted at breaking the bank earlier on in the auction for a younger spinner.

Leg-spin enabled the 48-year-old Tambe, who previously played for Rajasthan under Warne, to be a Knight Rider.  Recently, Manoj Tiwary who went unsold in the IPL auction, stated before the start of the domestic season that he plans to play for another ten years. What is his skill? Ding – Part-time legspin. With persistence, at 44, he could be a Sunriser, a Capital or even an Indian!

Afghanistan is doing it a little different to India and keep producing teenage leg-spinners tailor made for franchise T20 cricket.

Another of their young sensations, Qais Ahmed rocked the BBL with a four-wicket haul and did a Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang with his celebration. He picked four wickets in three deliveries by just bowling some good old leg-spin.

But, the kid has everything in his arsenal. Leg-spinner, googly and as Andre Russell found out in the T10 league, a bouncer.

Adam Zampa, Australia’s T2o specialist, too enjoyed a good game in his first game of the Big Bash this year. He finished with figures of three for 30 and accounted his scalps included big hitters Tom Banton and Chris Lynn.

Kuldeep Yadav is another wrist-spinner who was in the spotlight this week for his second ODI hat-trick. Could Tambe possibly be Yadav’s Mr. Miyagi  at KKR?

However, for all the successful leg-spinners in technicolour T20, there is a miserable Yasir Shah in whites. The Pakistan veteran has now gone 45 overs without a wicket in Test match cricket and is sulking away at Karachi.

He will be hoping to turn it around when PSL starts next year!

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