Since the WT20, leg-spinners and Chinaman bowlers have come to dominate the format. Off-spinners, on the other hand, have been used sparingly.
Pune Supergiants’ M Ashwin and Delhi Daredevils’ Amit Mishra are getting a lot of overs and have been among wickets since the start of IPL 9. Gujarat Lions’ Pravin Tambe has been the go-to bowler for skipper Suresh Raina, while Kolkata Knight Riders’ Brad Hogg too has produced a fine effort with the ball, bagging three wickets against Delhi Daredevils. Their economy rate is also the best.
Pune skipper MS Dhoni has in fact preferred the leg-spin of M Ashwin to the off-spin of the more experienced R Ashwin.
Wrist spinners have not only been effective in creating wicket-taking opportunities, they have been economical, with most achieving an economy of under-seven.
Former India spinner Maninder Singh felt the loop on offer from a leg-spinner created wicket-taking opportunities. “Due to the format, a lot of off-spinners try to bowl the quicker one, which comes to the batsman like a medium-paced delivery and is easier to hit,” he said.
“The recent crackdown by the ICC on suspect action has meant many off-spinners refrain from bowling the doosra or make too many variations. This has meant skippers now prefer leg-spinners to off-spinners,” he added.
In the WT20, New Zealand’s Ish Sodhi, Australia’s Adam Zampa, West Indies’ Samuel Badree proved effective and contributed massively to the team’s cause.
The sluggish Indian wickets have given these bowlers plenty to work with. Like the WT20, batsmen have not necessarily dominated this time in the IPL. Credit has to be given to these spinners who have managed to curtail the expansive shots of the batsmen before the medium pacers come in at the death.
“There used to be a fear among leg-spinners that the loop would be their undoing in the shortest format. The last two series have shown that is not the case and bowlers have now adapted well to the format,” said Maninder.