T20 world cup is an electrifying blend of cricket and entertainment, and one of the most awaited ICC events now. The festival has started with warm-up matches where Zimbabwe has made a thrilling 1-run win against Australia. Considering the pitches of Caribbean islands, spinners will be one of the most effective tools for any team in the tournament. Asian teams hold the benefit in this case.
A good spinner can anytime be a match-winner, especially when bowling at Caribbean. The pitches of Guyana, St. Lucia and Barbados are slow and spin wickets that are already been considered by all the teams.
Here, the defending team Pakistan holds a strong advantage when it comes to spinners. Pakistan enjoys the presence of magical Shahid Afridi and versatile Saeed Ajmal. Both of these spinners have been remarkable in T20 format. Ajmal, who has been annoyinh for batsmen with his ‘Doosra’, has played 14 T20s for Pakistan, taking 20 wickets with the best of 4/19. One the other hand, Afridi is the trump-card for Pakistan, who has taken 37 wickets in 27 T20s. Shahid Afridi stands second in number of wickets in T20 internationals, after Umer Gul while Saeed Ajmal is the eighth top-wicket taker. Pakistan also has Abdur Rehman and Mohammad Hafeez as supporting spinners. Strong enough!
The champion of first T20 world cup India also stands prepared on the spin front. Harbhajan Singh (16 wickets in T20Is) can be a lethal weapon for India. He will be supported by young and deadly Piyush Chawla. In contrast, Suresh Raina, Yuvraj Singh and Yusuf Pathan are on the supporting squad. A lot can be expected from these spinners.
Sri Lanka’s deceiving spinners’ duo remains a nightmare for any team. Muttiah Muralitharan and Ajantha Mendis are equipped with various spin varieties. Although Murali has not been impressive enough in T20, yet remains a match-winner. Beware of these two.
The other two Asian teams in the competition are Bangladesh and Afghanistan. Afghanistan’s spinner’s line-up is equipped with Samiullah Shenwari and Nowroz Mangal. On the other hand, Shakibul Hasan will be the leading spinner of Bangladesh. Lets see what they have at Caribbeans.
Another interesting fact is that 3 out 5 top wicket takers in T20 are spinners. Shahid Afridi, Daniel Vettori and Ajantha Mendis stand at number 2,3 and 4 respectively.
Now the tournament is about to start, the Asian teams and their spinning squad are the centre of attraction. Lets see what does ‘Googly’ and ‘Doosra’ make at West Indies.
Jibran T. Siddiqui