World T20: Spin sting to success route in batsman's format
The T20 format has gained popularity over the years because fans love the ball sailing to all parts of the ground. But what the fifth edition of the World T20 has brought to the fore is that spinners too can turn matches on its head.india Updated: Apr 04, 2014 00:50 IST
It's also called cricket's slam bang format. The T20 format has gained popularity over the years because fans love the ball sailing to all parts of the ground. But what the fifth edition of the World T20 has brought to the fore is that spinners too can turn matches on its head.
The wickets in Bangladesh have a lot to do with it and if there was not as much dew at some venues during the evening matches, the scalp count could have been tilted further in favour of the spinners.
Skippers generally do not want leg-spinners for the 50-over format as they believe there are more chances that a wrist spinner will be taken to the cleaners than the more accurate left-arm orthodox bowler. But a look at the list of top bowlers in the Super 10 stage of this tournament changes a few perceptions. South Africa's Imran Tahir leads the pack with 11 wickets from four matches followed by West Indies' Samuel Badree with 10 from four and India's Amit Mishra with 9 from four. All three are leg-spinners.
"There's place for leg-spin in this format, that's what they've shown in this tournament, especially. They have not been afraid to toss the ball up in these conditions. It's good that spinners are getting more success in the T20 format. We have (Shahid) Afridi with us for many years. He is doing the job for us," said Pakistan skipper Mohammad Hafeez.
For India and the West Indies, spinners have hunted in pairs. To complement Badree, West Indies have mystery bowler Sunil Narine.
With Mishra, India have R Ashwin who has taken 7 wickets in four matches. Narine has bagged six in four.
"I think spin plays a huge role in T20, wherever it's played in the world… In these conditions, it tends to be matchwinning. It's a challenge. We knew we were going to face lots of spin," Australia skipper George Bailey said.
Dwayne Bravo could not agree more. "It's good to have someone like Narine in the middle overs, Pakistan have Ajmal, India have Mishra and Ashwin, Sri Lanka have (Ajantha) Mendis and (Rangana) Herath. So the tournament has a lot of good spinners... I'm happy we have two," he said.
Where the spinners have struck gold is finding the right pace to bowl. Both Sri Lanka coach Paul Farbrace and Ashwin stressed on the point.
"It's about making sure you get the right pace," Farbrace said.
"It's not about getting the ball to the other end. You've got to bowl the right pace and that's what Herath did so well against New Zealand in Chittagong," said the former wicketkeeper.