Cricket is a sport which shows us variety in three departments- batting, bowling, and fielding. The rise of T20 cricket has opened up many new avenues in all the departments. With the rise of this new format, batsmen have changed their approach to the game. They are more aggressive and play a variety of shots all around the park.
When it comes to bowling the bowlers have come up with new tricks as well to tackle the fancy shots played by the batsman. They have a few tricks up their sleeve like Yorkers, slower balls such as Off cutters, Leg cutters, Knuckleballs. The main type of bowling that has risen in recent years is leg-spin. Over the last few years, we have seen the importance of leg-spin in limited-overs cricket.
The Rise Of Leg Spin
A trend has been noticed that every team tries to include at least one wrist spinner in their playing 11. The reason is simple, wrist spinners offer more variety than finger spinners. They generally possess more variations as compared to finger spinners. Finger spinners only have variations such as arm ball, carrom ball, whereas wrist spinners have plenty in their armoury- such as Topspin, Flipper, Googly their main threat to the batsman is that they can often mix up their deliveries which makes batsman difficult to read.
The wrist spinners have the ability to pick up wickets at any point in the game. It has gone to an extent that almost every game both teams include one wrist spinner. If we consider the Indian team’s frontline spinners in limited-overs cricket, wrist spinners have replaced finger spinners. In the 2015 World Cup, R Ashwin-right arm off-spin and Ravindra Jadeja-left arm orthodox were, in the team. In the 2019 World Cup squad, they have been replaced by Yuzvendra Chahal-right arm wrist spin and Kuldeep Yadav-left arm wrist spin.
Average In Limited Overs Cricket (Indian spinners)
Ravindra Jadeja – 45
Ravichandran Ashwin- 34
Kuldeep Yadav – 20.6
Yuzvendra Chahal- 23.8
Ravindra Jadeja – 37.8
Ravichandran Ashwin- 33.5
Kuldeep Yadav – 13.0
Yuzvendra Chahal- 19.9
From the above statistics, we can clearly see how both the wrist spinners have dominated for India. They have the knack of picking up wickets during the middle overs and therefore tilt the game in India’s favour.
The upcoming T20 World Cup will clearly show us how much leg-spin has risen in recent times and it has become a force to reckon with. Many great players have struggled to tackle quality leg-spin and it will be interesting to watch their approach in the coming matches. As the build-up to the World Cup intensifies wrist spinners are certainly the ones to watch out for.