It was supposed to be a World Cup dominated by wrist-spinners but it ended up anything but in the end as pacers ruled the roost in England.
Wrist-spinners had taken limited-overs cricket by storm over the past two years or so and had emerged as a popular wicket-taking option in the middle-overs for several top sides.
However, their impact in the 2019 World Cup was barely felt with the conditions in England not really playing to their strengths.
It was the fast bowlers who dominated the wicket-taking charts instead with no spinner featuring among the top 18 wicket-takers in the tournament.
At 19th spot, India’s Yuzvendra Chahal finished as the leading wicket-taker among all spinners with 12 scalps to his name.
Here, we take a closer look at how the top wrist-spinners in business performed in the World Cup.
Yuzvendra Chahal (India)
Chahal was more prolific than his wrist-spin twin Kuldeep Yadav but the senior bowler still performed well below expectations in the tournament.
His start to the tournament was a strong one with a four-wicket haul against South Africa but his performances declined drastically in the latter stages.
He was taken to the cleaners by England’s batsmen and conceded 88 runs in the match and had an expensive outing in the semi-final loss to New Zealand as well where he returned with figures of 1-63.
Imran Tahir (South Africa)
If one takes economy-rate into account, the South African veteran was the best of the lot among all wrist-spinners in the tournament.
However, it wasn’t really the perfect swansong for Tahir in England and he would have wanted to sign off with some more wickets to his name.
While he did pick up 11 wickets overall, the veteran wasn’t really effective against the four sides who qualified for the semi-finals. In the four clashes against England, New Zealand, India and Australia, Tahir was able to muster only three scalps in total.
Adil Rashid (England)
The England leg-spinner blew hot and cold throughout the tournament although he did get better towards the business end.
Rashid was one of the more expensive wrist-spinners on show and went at nearly run-a-ball over the course of the World Cup.
His best display came in the semi-final against Australia where he picked up a three-wicket haul while he also put in a tidy wicketless display in the final.
With England’s pacers firing on all cylinders, Rashid did not really have to be at his best and he did a decent job in a supporting role.
Shadab Khan (Pakistan)
The Pakistan leg-spinner came into the World Cup after recovering from a viral illness and performed admirably without being sensational.
His only poor outing came against India where he went wicketless while conceding 61 runs but he came into his own in the latter stages when Pakistan went on a four-match winning run.
It was the maiden World Cup campaign for the youngster and Pakistan will be satisfied with what they saw of him in England.
Kuldeep Yadav (India)
The India wrist-spinner came into the tournament on the back of a disappointing IPL campaign and that reflected in his displays which were well short of standard.
Although he was economical, Kuldeep failed to bring the wicket-taking threat expected of him and finished with an overall tally of just six. His wicket-taking struggles were underlined by the fact that all-rounder Hardik Pandya managed to pick up 10 of them and was a bigger theat.
Expensive outings against England and Sri Lanka ultimately cost Kuldeep a place in the playing XI for the semi-final and he will be disappointed by his overall performance.
Rashid Khan (Afghanistan)
The Afghanistan leg-spin sensation came in with a huge reputation as the No1 ranked T20I bowler but he had a tournament to forget by all accounts.
He could fetch only six wickets in his nine outings and averaged nearly 70 with the ball in hand. He is usually one of the most economical bowlers on show but he failed to contain runs as well in a dismal campaign.
Rashid created records for all the wrong reasons after being taken for 110 runs in just nine overs in the clash against England with Eoin Morgan going on a rampage.
It was the most expensive figures by any bowler in World Cup history and second-most overall in ODIs.
Adam Zampa (Australia)
Zampa was expected to be Australia’s leading spinner in the World Cup but the leggie was replaced by Nathan Lyon in the playing XI midway through the tournament.
The 27-year-old was the most expensive among all wrist-spinners while three of his five wickets came in the win over Afghanistan.
He had a dismal outing in Australia’s win over Bangladesh and was consigned to the bench for the rest of the tournament.
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