Spin bowling in T20 cricket is an art. Batsmen at times often fail to clear the ropes against top quality bowlers. Having plenty of ammunition in the armoury helps a spinner to take charge. The modern day spinners have that quality in them to exude confidence and win battles against batsmen. As we draw closer to the 12th edition of the Indian Premier League, there will be plenty of spinners out there looking to have massive influence.
In IPL 11 we witnessed some strong performances from the spinners and the coming into the scene for certain debutants was noteworthy. Collectively the spinners had a decent outing and the numbers could get better this time around. We have several match-winners this term, who could come in and bring that aura of responsibility. Teams would be looking at these names as promising game-changers.
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Last season teams with a strong spin-bowling quarter went on to do well. Chennai Super Kings banked on their spin-heavy unit to lead the proceedings. Sunrisers Hyderabad shined through two premier names. Kolkata Knight Riders’ three-man spin attack performed well as a unit. So fans can expect another exciting season ahead as far spin bowling is concerned.
Ahead of IPL 2019, we look at the leading spinners, who could have maximum say.
Sunil Narine – KKR
A player who has grown to become a steady hand for KKR with his all-round abilities. Sunil Narine is a real deal for the eastern giants. His influence is massive for the two-time winners and they have entrusted him with leading the attack. There is no doubt that the West Indian is their major match-winner. And Narine as a spinner is still to be feared.
After a remodelled action, Narine may have become a bit more predictable of late in the IPL, but he isn’t afraid to show his confidence. He thrives in pressure situations and has stood out despite this time being that of the wrist-spinners. A celebrated t20 player, Narine has been KKR’s major asset over the years.
Last season, the right-arm spinner bagged 17 scalps and led the show for his side.
His experience and ability to not give away many runs make him a strong prospect for the purple and gold unit. Skipper Dinesh Karthik will utilise the ability of Narine to full perfection.
Rashid Khan – SRH
He is right now the best in business in world cricket. Rashid Khan is just 21 years of age and in a short time he has written history. The Afghanistan wrist-spinner has dominated the show like nobody else in limited-overs cricket. And rightly so, the youngster has risen on top of the ICC Rankings for Bowlers.
Rashid was instrumental for SRH last season and he helped them win several matches on his own. A sheer match-winner, Rashid is a true contender for the prestigious Purple Cap. He finished as the second highest wicket-taker last season (21). Fearless, accurate and confident – Rashid has been a thorn for batsmen.
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His rise across global T20 leagues makes him a vital weapon for the Orange Army. He cam bowl anytime ay any given situation and is always on the money. He can get his team the wickets at any given stage and his biggest strength is the pace he derives unlike other spinners. He can bowl high dot-ball percentage and he topped the billing last term.
Kuldeep Yadav – KKR
Like Rashid, the left-arm Indian spinner has grown from strength to strength. His numbers for India in 2018 was impressive. Kuldeep thrived in conditions away from home and like usual wrist-spinner, he derived maximum from any given surface. Kuldeep has grown in confidence and his wicket-taking abilities has never shied away.
Last season, he formed a strong unit with Narine and Piyush Chawla. Kuldeep picked up 17 scalps for KKR and one will back him to get more wickets this time. He was on the costlier side last season and bowled at an economy-rate of 8.14. This is something he will want to better in IPL 2019. One may feel it’s time for Kuldeep to replicate his national success to his franchise.
The Chinaman bowler will look to support Narine well and make the difference for KKR. Perhaps, his international stint could come to his aid for his franchise in IPL 2019.
Mujeeb Ur Rahman – KXIP
Afghanistan have a knack of producing quality spinners. In IPL 2018, Mujeeb Ur Rahman became the youngest player in the tournament and he didn’t disappoint at all. He was backed by Kings XI Punjab and the mystery spinner took charge of his own fortunes. Mujeeb was economical and often bowled upfront with the new ball.
The youngster picked up 14 scalps in his debut season. Originally a right arm off-break bowler, Mujeeb mixes it up with subtle googlies. He was often the problem for many batsmen, who failed to pick him up. KXIP will need to give him the desired game time once again in order to stand a chance.
They have skipper R Ashwin and new mystery spinner Varun Chakravarthy in the mix as well. But Mujeeb has done enough to stake a claim in the side. His outings for Afghanistan and a stint for Brisbane Heat in the Big Bash League, will bring in that confidence in him to go and perform well. He took 12 wickets in the BBL08 campaign for Heat.
Sandeep Lamichhane – DC
The youngster from Nepal was wasted by Delhi Capitals in IPL 11 and he only made the cut in the business end of the season. Sandeep picked up five scalps from three IPL matches in 2018. But this time, one will expect the franchise to make the mystery spinner one of their go to players.
Lamichhane has been a star for his nation and he has quickly grown as a player across T20 leagues. He participated in the Carribean Premier League and also represented Melbourne Stars in the BBL08 campaign. He picked up 11 wickets from seven matches. The 18-year-old has thrived in the big stage and has shown plenty of nerves around star players. He will have the experienced Amit Mishra to guide him in IPL 2019. Together, the two leg-spinners can keep DC in the hunt this season.