Rajendra Prasad Mohapatra

With much hyped-up talk around pace bowling of the Indian team for the T20 World Cup 2022 in Australia, there has not been much focus on the spinners.

However, with big boundaries and condition being conducive for the tweakers, spinners would be handful in the land of great Shane Warne.

Wrist-spin has become the prescribed tonic for the shortest format of the game. Spinners were no longer meant to contain the batsmen in white ball cricket. They are supposed to spin a web around aggressive batters and bamboozle them with their turn, flight, variation and angle. Taking wickets in middle overs is the key for keeping a check in the run rate and spinners really have jobs cut out for them. 

Wrist spin has almost become a norm for most of the teams across the globe in the shortest format of the game. However, as a wrist spinner, only Yuzvendra Chahal has survived in the Indian ranks for the mega event. Chinaman bowler Kuldeep Yadav has almost gone into oblivion in the shortest format of the game. Suddenly, the selectors and team management have relied upon the control of finger spinners Ravichandran Ashwin and Axar Patel.

In absence of experienced pacer Jasprit Bumrah and other pacers including Bhuvneshwar Kumar struggling with indifferent form, spinners have an important role to play in the middle overs. Veteran Mohammed Shami lacks match practice and the likes of Harshal Patel and Arshdeep Singh have not much experience. Considering the scenario, spinners’ roles have become more crucial and they are not just to chip in and get away with few overs only.

In Australia, spinners can try and hit the top of the bat, bowl a lot of overspin and try to get the batsmen caught in the dip. That could be a great template for spin bowling and success for any team in the ongoing T20 World Cup Down Under. Under these circumstances, India will miss the service of Ravi Bishnoi. The young spinner has the necessary elements in him to pose a threat to any batter in the world especially in the shortest format of the game. However, the selectors and team management wanted to play safe and chose experienced Ashwin over him. Axar was the like for like replacement of Jadeja.

India’s spin combination looks strong in paper. But they will definitely miss the guiles of Bishnoi. With Australia’s big boundaries, he could have been a potent force to reckon with. Though Australia doesn’t have a summer for a long time, there is enough sun to dry up the pitches to be conducive for the spinners. The pitches might be paradises for the pacers, but there are enough juices on those for the spinners to exploit the conditions as well.