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The "mystery" spinners

anandvasudev
SENIOR ANALYST
Top 5 / Top 10
Timeless

The World T20 has begun in a brilliant fashion when the Sri Lankans took on Zimbabwe and thrashed them for a 82 run win. All the teams are raring to go and make a mark for themselves in this tournament. This time the world cup is being held in Sri Lanka where the nature of the pitches are slow, and assist spinners more than fast bowlers. So, if a team has to win matches, they should have a strong spin bowling attack at their disposal. Going by the teams that every country has picked for this tournament, they seem to have understood this fact very well. There are at least a couple of lead spinners in every team’s playing eleven. Though there are many good spinners playing in the tournament, there are four “mystery spinners” who catch our attention here.

Ajantha Mendis

The first ever spinner to have the “mystery” tag attached to his name was this offie from Sri Lanka. When he first came on to the scene, it was impossible to pick his deliveries and many of the best players struggled to play him. He picked up a lot of wickets against India in his debut test series. But after that, teams began making plans for him, reading his bowling and they played him out quite comfortably. He began losing his aura along with his form and consequently lost his place from the side. But all that changed when he became the strike bowler for them in the T20′s. He bowled a brilliant spell against the Aussies last year, bagging 6 wickets for just 16 runs. He has brought that form into this world cup and he has already made his mark with a career best 6-8 against the Zimbabweans. For Sri Lanka to win this tournament, Mendis’ form is very crucial to them along with Malinga’s.

Sunil Narine

This diminutive spinner from Trinidad and Tobago came with a bang into the international scene. His unique high arm action makes him quite difficult to read and the West Indians would be banking on him to deliver the goods, particularly after magnificent performances in the IPL and the New Zealand series.

Ravichandran Ashwin

This tall offie from Chennai was quite a revelation when he played for Chennai in the IPL. His journey to the top has been incredible and so has been his performances. He has cemented his place in the Indian side after a string of good performances. He already has a four wicket haul in the warm ups and a 2-20 against the Afghans and he has set the tone going for him quite nicely. If India has to go forward in the tournament, Ashwin has to definitely come good, what with the other bowlers faltering in almost every match.

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Saeed Ajmal

This 34 year old offspinner from Pakistan is one of the leading bowlers in the international circuit and any team would love to have him. His variations are day-by-day exceeding the number of balls per over limit and it would be quite difficult to play him in this conditions successfully, let alone hitting. He bowled well against the Indians in the warm up match and against England and will be heavily relied upon to perform.

The four favorites in the tournament are no doubt India, Srilanka, Pakistan and West Indies, having these four best spinners in their side. If any of these teams should win this tournament, the form of these spinners would be the most important thing for them. There are other good spinners like Johan Botha, Graeme Swann and Bradd Hogg and they would do well to pick wickets for their team and help them achieve glory.

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