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Limited-overs cricket to blame for lack of quality spinners: Narendra Hirwani

The former India leg-spinner speaks about the current trend among spinners in the country.

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News 16 Jan 2015, 20:31 IST
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Narendra Hirwani

Former India leg-spinner Narendra Hirwani has said that the current lot of spinners are finding it hard to spin the ball and, hence, are not able to generate any kind of flight on their delivery, adding that both the activities can occur only in tandem.

“When you want to spin the ball, you have to send a message to your mind that you have to spin it and you should have the intent to spin the ball. Nowadays a spinner says ‘I want to bowl 30 overs and shouldn’t give away much runs’ and they are happy with one or two wickets,” Hirwani told Cricbuzz.

“When you have the ability to spin, you will flight the ball. But these days, you don’t see flight. That is because the bowlers now are not capable of spinning the ball and I can tell you, you cannot get a combination wherein you can flight the ball and the ball is not spinning. Flight will happen if you have the spin and then only can you get purchase from the track,” he added.

He also expressed his concern over the current scenario prevailing in the country with regards to the slow bowlers not bowling as many overs as they should and added that playing excess of limited-overs cricket has had a severe impact on them.

“The main problem, I feel, is that spinners are not able to bowl the amount of overs they should be bowling. This is mainly because of the shorter formats of the game.

“The rules earlier were different. In our playing days, when a batsman came forward with his pads, a spinner would not get an lbw decision. What can a spinner do in that situation? He does not have any other option than turning the ball.

“But today, if a batsman is playing on the front foot and he is in front of the stumps, umpires are willing to give that out. So the spinners are trying for an lbw now, and not thinking of actually turning the ball and hitting the stumps, beating the bat and pad of the batsman,” he added.

The pitches nowadays have too much grass on them: Hirwani

He further took a dig at the type of pitches that are being prepared in domestic cricket, stating that green surfaces have completely reduced the impact of a slow bowler on the game.

“The potential is definitely there in our spinners, but with the wickets that we are making here it is very difficult for them. Only a quality spinner will come through, otherwise, average bowlers get exposed easily,” the former Indian selector said.

“The thing with spinners is you need to have skills, and to get purchase off the wicket, that is also a skill which can be acquired by playing more. In domestic cricket, the wickets are being prepared with 4mm of grass being left. There is no scope for spinners. Today’s wicket is full of grass, and for all four days it is playing the same way. Earlier, Day One and Day Two had something for the medium-pacers and then it used to get helpful for the spinners. You don’t see that now,” he added.

He also said that spinners today aren’t trying to deceive the batsmen with dip in the air and are also not putting in the hard yards.

“A spinner cannot scare a batsman with his pace or a bouncer. But he can scare with spin, dip and flight. But they [youngsters] are not willing to put in that much effort. Youngsters are treating it as a job. Not enjoying it. We use to enjoy our bowling and I still enjoy my bowling,” he said.

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