Statistics show Pragyan Ojha and Amit Mishra at the top of the heap. The two, along with Harbhajan Singh, Anil Kumble, Piyush Chawla and Shane Warne have played in every single match for their teams. For Chennai, it’s been a luxury to choose between Muttiah Muralithran and R. Ashwin.
Teams are even playing with three spinners. Most of these spinners are getting the new ball. The traditional pace-spin equation of 2:2 or 3:1 in a side’s composition is being revised. Indeed, it’s the pacers who feel frustrated as their traditional role is being taken over by spinners.
Captains have now woken up to the worth of spinners. Hardly a match passes without a spinner bowling the opening over. Figures tell that it has happened in every second match of this IPL. The four top teams on the points table — Mumbai, Bangalore, Delhi and Deccan Chargers — have overtly relied on spinners. Indeed, one should have seen this coming. A spinner is most effective when a batsman is giving him a charge.
Spinners of yore were known to clap for batsmen who hit them for a six. It was a trap, an invitation for a repeat hit in order to snare them. The Twenty20 format, by its very nature, makes dot balls a blasphemy. The batsmen are programmed to hit out and this suits spinners to the hilt.
As the conditions in the Caribbean for the Twenty20 World Cup aren’t likely to be any different, the good times will keep rolling for the spinners.