ICC World T20: India could have picked a leg-spinner in their side, feels Chandu Borde

Amit Mishra India
Amit Mishra, the unsung hero of the World T20 2014, was not picked this time

India, with their recent run of success in the shortest format of the game, are the overwhelming favourites to lift the T20 World Cup at home. But according to former captain and chief selector, Chandu Borde, India could have picked a leg-spinner in the side.

"It's always advantageous if you have a leg-spinner in the side. Our wickets help leg-spinners quite a bit as well as off-spin. One has to be careful while hitting against the spin but how much can you experiment in T20s," Borde, who used to bowl leg-spin in his playing days, told PTI.

India who almost have their bases covered might just miss a leggie given a leggie’s impressive record in the shortest format of the game. India had the option of picking up Piyush Chawla, given his recent success in the domestic T20 tournament Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy, where he picked up 15 wickets in 9 games and had an impressive economy rate of 5.94.

India had Amit Mishra in their squad in the last T20 World Cup and he did quite well in that tournament. He picked up 10 wickets in the tournament and formed a lethal combo with fellow spinner Ravichandran Ashwin. Mishra has a stupendous record in the IPL too.

Almost every team has a leg-spinner 

Almost every team in this T20 World Cup has a leg-spinner in its side. West Indies have Samuel Badree, England have Adil Rashid, South Africa have Imran Tahir in their ranks and they are proven performers in the format. England’s Adil Rashid showed his class as he bamboozled the kiwi batsmen with a three-wicket burst in a warm-up game.

Australia, knowing the importance of having a leg-spinner, have brought in Adam Zampa to bolster their squad. Zampa bowled exceptionally well in the Big Bash League in Australia as he was the second highest wicket-taker amongst the spinners, just behind Adil Rashid. Zampa picked up 12 wickets in the league and showed glimpses of his ability.

Even Afghanistan, who have qualified for the Super 10 with an all-win record from Group B, have got not one but two such bowlers in Rashid Khan and Samiullah Shenwari. Pakistan’s flamboyant all-rounder and skipper Shahid Afridi also bowls leg-spin and he is quite lethal with his googlies and flippers.

It’s quite clear that every team knows the importance of having a leg-spinner in the shortest format. A leg-spinner might go for runs, but he is the one who can also pick up wickets as batsmen often fall prey to the guile of a leg-spinner. Legendary Indian leg-spinner Anil Kumble has touted South African leggie Imran Tahir to be the one to watch out for in the upcoming mega-event. Tahir with his experience can be the one who can give South Africa the much-needed impetus to shed their chokers’ tag.

Leg-spin is a potent wicket-taking option for sure. A leg-spinner is the one who can turn the ball on any surface. Even the likes of Badree and Afridi, who like to bowl flat, enjoyed tremendous success in the format. India having no leg-spinner in their side might just miss that extra edge over their opponents.

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