Spinners have been quite sensational this season, with 4 of them making it to the top 10 players with most wickets. How have they managed to do so?
As this article summarises, the grounds in Abu Dhabi and Dubai have longer boundaries compared to Indian grounds. Hence for spinners, a bit more flight and guile will assist them to get some important breakthroughs in these conditions.
This year, both the off-spinners and the leg-spinners have been sensational. Although it may look like the offies are not among the most wickets, they have controlled the game and more often than not given an economy of less than 8.
Off spinners vs Leg Spinners
Nowadays, the teams started using off-spinners in the powerplay instead of the usual trend of using two fast bowlers to start up. Has this move been fruitful for the teams?
Well, the top 3 teams in the points table show you the reason why they are so successful in this IPL. It’s because of the amount of success their off-spinners have had bowling in the powerplay. For the Mumbai Indians, it has been the left arm off-spinner, Krunal Pandya while for the Delhi Capitals, it has been a duo of a left arm offie and a right arm offie, Axar Patel and Ravichandran Ashwin and for the Royal Challengers Bengaluru, it has been Washington Sundar.
Though Krunal hasn’t been given the ball during the powerplay in the past few matches, he has still proven that he could take wickets in the powerplay whenever he is thrown the ball. For sides like RCB and DC, the go-to plan for them has been spinners in the powerplay. For DC, Rabada bowls the first over and is later saved for the death overs and the same happens with Nortje. As a result, Ashwin and Axar have been crucial in the powerplay overs for the Capitals.
While for the RCB, they rely on Washington Sundar to deliver in the powerplay overs. Although he has only picked up 3 wickets in this season in powerplays, Washington Sundar’s contribution has been immense. He manages to restrict the flow of runs on keeps on building the pressure on the batsman. He has been so remarkable that his economy is less than 6 in the shortest format of the game.
Although the wickets aren’t many for these off-spinners, they have been the one behind the team’s success. Their consistent lines and lengths build the pressure on the batsmen to score and as a result, these batsmen try to attack the other bowlers
It’s no surprise that leg spinners would bowl in the middle overs. There were some new leggies who stole the limelight this season such as Varun Chakravarty, Ravi Bishnoi, Rahul Chahar and Murugan Ashwin. And there were some no brainers like Yuzvendra Chahal and Rashid Khan. These spinners have been among the wickets section. Among the top 10 wicket-takers, four of them have been leg spinners.
It’s a no brainer that leg spinners get more wickets than off-spinners in the shortest format of the game due to their variations. Behind all the successful teams, there has been a leg spinner who has played an integral role in the team. These leggies control the game in the middle overs and take some important wickets to prevent the flow of runs.
When the teams’ main leg spinner fails, the team more often than not loses the match. It once again proves how sensational the leg spinners have been in the last couple of seasons. This year, most of the leg spinners have also been quite economical with around 7.5 runs per over. A reason why leg spinners have succeeded is also that the pitches in UAE are comparatively slower than Indian pitches. And with much longer boundaries, the spinners can afford to bowl a flighted delivery and still expect a wicket, while in India, you’ll be taken to the cleaners. It has been the lines and lengths leggies have bowled, exactly on the good length which forces the batsman to play on the front foot.
A massive amount of success is obtained when the leg spinners fire for their sides. This year is no different. We’ve been seeing some incredible spells by leg spinners in this IPL 2020.
Why have been the spinners been so successful this season?
Apart from the first few matches at Sharjah, where the spinners were smashed all around the park, in none of the matches, the spinners have been unimpressive. The conditions and the longer boundaries suit them and if you notice, most of the balls bowled by the spinners have pitched in the good length which is absolutely spot on in these conditions.
Featured Image: sunrisershyderabad | Instagram
I am a cricket enthusiast. I love watching cricket, especially Test matches. I have been playing cricket as an all rounder at academy level for 3 years. Apart from that, I have written 100+ answers on Quora with nearly 600,000 views