5 Players who changed the game of cricket for ever
Bowling leg spinners isn’t as easy as Shane Warne made it look like. In fact, finding good leg spinners in itself is a daunting task. A look around the current crop of players in world cricket and we can see that not a single leg-spinner can be labelled as world-class.
The biggest problem with bowling leggies is knowing where to drop it and how to drop it. Whether to throw it flat or to give flight. Turning the ball is also more hard-earned for a leg spinner as it requires a strong wrist and technique.
Shane Warne, however, is like the God in this aspect. Or was one. He spun the ball to gigantic angles, but that wasn’t all. He gave enough flight to it to make sure the batsmen fell for it and committed to their shots early, leaving them embarrassed after the ball pitched and left them reeling.
Few bowlers can replicate what he did. Stuart MacGill was the only one who came closest to – or even probably bettered – his technique, but was unfortunate to have played in the same era as Warne.
That doesn’t, however, change the fact that the Australian inspired a lot of bowlers around the world to bowl leg spin. And the next world class leg spinner will most likely have his technique stamped on it.
Cricket is a game of 11 men as we all know. That hasn’t changed. What has changed is the role of the wicketkeeper, and Adam Gilchrist is the man who is the reason for that.
Before his arrival, a wicketkeeper was someone who was good at standing behind the wickets, his batting skills were secondary. It was like 6 batsmen, 4 bowlers and 1 wicketkeeper. The wicketkeeper didn’t need to be good at batting to be selected in the team.
But all that changed after Adam Gilchrist came into the scene. Not only was he a great batsman, but he was also as destructive as one could be. With a strike rate of over 80 in Tests and 90 in ODIs, one can clearly understand that he wasn’t someone who would wait for a bad ball to hit it across the boundary.
A player like him – and a wicketkeeper that too – would be hard to find. He single-handedly won numerous games for the Aussies and is, till date, their greatest ever wicketkeeper batsmen ever.Published 05 Jun 2015, 17:58 IST