Should India persist with wrist spinners?
Yuzvendra Chahal had a night to forget in Centurion during the second T20 between India and South Africa. This performance from Chahal has raised doubts over the role of wrist spinners in overseas conditions.
With the much awaited World Cup campaign about to begin in just a year's time, Virat Kohli and Co. need to be geared up for getting the team combinations right. This current Indian team is regarded to have the best composition with well-equipped skills in each department.
Most of the players were a part of the previous World Cup campaign and with the amount of experience the players have currently, this Indian side has all the elements in them to go for the crown they last won in 2011. But the area of scrutiny will be the spin department, especially in English conditions.
Most of the teams these days are equipped with at least one wrist spinner because of their inbuilt attacking nature and India is rightly following that path. This is where India lacked during the Champions Trophy held in June 2017. Of course, it is eventually the management’s and the captain’s call on the team composition depending on the balance and opposition’s strengths and weaknesses.
India, under previous captains, was very reluctant on playing a wrist spinner in overseas conditions as Ashwin and Jadeja were the preferred spin options. The selectors had given weightage to their experience over the years.
No doubt they are the best spinners in the side as far as the numbers go, but a wrist spinner adds to the mystery element which itself is an attacking move against the opposition. Kuldeep Yadav has been seen disturbing the opposition batsmen with his chinaman action and especially on foreign tracks, his presence would come handy. If India has to win matches, the best way is to attack and wrist spinners are the ideal people to go to.
The current Indian spin duo in the ongoing South African tour, Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav, have played less than 50 ODIs combined. But with loads of IPL experience, these youngsters are the key going forward.
Keeping in mind the upcoming overseas tours and the ICC World Cup 2019 in England and Wales, the board is ensuring that these two upcoming stars are given ample exposure and groomed the right way. With Ashwin warming himself up at county cricket, he could definitely guide the young spin duo. These two must be persisted with even if they have one bad series and they definitely look like the future spin prospects for India.
It's good that the Indian team management has a proper plan in place for young wrist spinners like Kuldeep and Chahal. Also, the backing of the captain is a good sign. Speaking about the youngsters, Kolhi has been quoted to have said "They might get hit for 70-odd in the next game. But there is no problem in that because you know that if they bowl attacking lines then they will end up picking two-three wickets every game." This kind of confidence will only do good to the spinners as the World Cup approaches.