JOHANNESBURG – The World Cup will be awash with wrist-spinners.
Eight of the ten teams will have front-line wrist-spinners in their squad. West Indies and weirdly Bangladesh don’t, although the latter has a wide mix of off-spinners and slow left arm orthodox bowlers.
It’s the Shane Warne, Anil Kumble and Mushtaq Ahmed effect, and the forecast for a dry English summer, which has made teams pick leg-spinners. If the World Cup is to be a month and a half long batting bonanza, then say the experts, the best counter would be to take wickets. Leg-spinners are naturally aggressive and they’re wicket-takers.
“It’s because of the variation they can use,” said South Africa’s very own Imran Tahir. “Finger spinners don’t have many variations and wrist-spinner bring a lot of excitement, they take more wickets and create more opportunities to take more wickets.”
South Africa hasn’t always been an agent of spin, but when Tahir got to this country and started bamboozling local batsmen, administrators couldn’t wait to get him into the national team. Once he was eligible, they kept him under wraps, unleashing him at the 2011 World Cup, where he picked up 14 wickets in five matches.