Wrist spinners like Rashid Khan have excelled in IPL 2018.(PTI)
Wrist spinners like Rashid Khan have excelled in IPL 2018.(PTI)

Changing trend: Leg-spin overshadows off-spin at IPL 2018

IPL 2018 has seen off-spinners dominate seven out of 11 editions but in the last three seasons, leg-spinners have bounced back.
By Siddharth Vishwanathan | Hindustan Times, Jaipur
UPDATED ON MAY 07, 2018 09:24 PM IST

In the 11 editions of IPL, many spinners have become household names. R Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal and Sunil Narine have put in great performances and gone on to become big names on international stage.

This year, Mayank Markande, the 20-year-old Mumbai Indians leg-spinner, leads the chart among spinners with 13 wickets. The fact that a wrist spinner is leading the charts is no surprise. For the past two editions, leg-spinners have topped the wickets column for spinners.

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Leg-spin overthrows off-spin

In 38 games of the 2018 edition so far, 84 wickets have been taken by leg-spinners while 56 have been taken by off-spinners/left-arm orthodox. The success of leg-spinners is a welcome change in a tournament where off-spin and left-arm orthodox bowling dominated seven out of the 11 editions.

In 2008, leg-spinners led the chart with 74 wickets while off-spinners managed just 24 wickets. Following the 2008 edition, the off-spin/left-arm combination dominated from 2009 till 2015.

However, since 2016, wrist spinners Yuzvendra Chahal, Kuldeep Yadav and Rashid Khan have led the charge.

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Wrist spin dynamics for India

The rise of wrist spin in IPL mirrors the shift in national team that has seen Chahal and Kuldeep take over as Virat Kohli’s key attacking options. Until 2015, Jadeja and Ashwin were the go-to bowlers for MS Dhoni but with Kohli’s arrival, the situation changed.

In 2016, Chahal was the leading spinner with 21 wickets while Kuldeep has taken 26 wickets in three editions so far. Chahal and Kuldeep’s selection to the limited-overs side saw Ashwin and Jadeja get confined to Test squad. From 2016 till 2018, India have won nine consecutive limited-over bilateral series.

The Indian team will be hoping to unearth one more leg-spinner who will play a big role in the coming years.

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