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Fast and furious still the way to go

Success of the Australian pace battery, hat-tricks by West Indian Kemar Roach and Sri Lanka's Lasith Malinga, Zaheer Khan's turnaround against England and Bangladesh's Shafiul Islam's match-winning four-wicket haul against Ireland have presented a picture that this World Cup will not just be about spinners. Nilankur Das reports.

cricket Updated: Mar 03, 2011 00:20 IST
Nilankur Das

Success of the Australian pace battery, hat-tricks by West Indian Kemar Roach and Sri Lanka's Lasith Malinga, Zaheer Khan's turnaround against England and Bangladesh's Shafiul Islam's match-winning four-wicket haul against Ireland have presented a picture that this World Cup will not just be about spinners.

This despite a few teams opting to begin their attack with spinners.

The sub-continent conditions are not alien even to medium-pacers outside courtesy the Indian Premier League, a lot more tours happening in the subcontinent and of course the current use of video analysis. So it has helped the pacers develop a lot more variations and for someone who is fast, a slight change in pace can turn out to be very effective.

West Indies manager Richie Richardson could not agree more. "We all know that this part of the world has a reputation of favouring spinners, but if you are a good enough seam bowler you can do well in any conditions," the former skipper said on the sidelines of his team's first training session here on Wednesday.

"It is all about assessing conditions and assessing pitches and making the adjustments. What you find now, a lot of seamers are bowling a lot of variation. Slower-ball bouncers, slower balls, back of the hand, in-cutters everything. It will take a little while before the batsmen start getting used to all these varieties. So that game continues to change. As a player, you have got to adapt to the changes, and adapt quickly. Teams that are innovative and try different things are the teams that will be successful," the 49-year-old said.

On the other hand, Bangladesh's left-arm spinner who was tipped to spearhead the attack has got just one wicket so far in two matches.

"I also thought at first that it is going to be spinners' World Cup. But the wickets have not been such. The wickets have been sporting and I think the medium-pacers are also bowling well. I guess it will not be right for teams to keep a mindset that it's only the spinners who are going to take wickets," the 28-year-old said.