Role of spinners in cricket…

Was watching videos of Shane Warne’s 700th wicket.

Andrew Strauss b Shane Warne

Watch the video here:

What is really stunning is the amount of top-spin on the ball in addition to the side-spin. The ball curves into Strauss and, just when he thinks he has stepped into the on-drive, the ball dips on him. Strauss is beaten and , miraculously, the ball still has enough side-spin to turn and go through the gate.

The beauty of the ball lies not in how much it turned or dipped. Rather, the beauty is in making the batsman feel he has it covered…till the very last movement. It is the classic spinners trap.While the fast bowlers try to intimidate the batsmen with bouncers and toe-crunching yorkers, the spinners try to lure them into going for their shots.

Which is why I find the following story slightly amusing:

Dravid pleased with Powerplay modification

“Now [after the rule change] you are going to have a chance to put an extra fielder outside the circle in the second and third Powerplay,” said Dravid. “It’s going to give captains the courage to bowl the spinners in the Powerplays a lot more.

The job of the spinner, in my view, is to lure the batsmen into going for their shots. Having mid-on and mid-off in the circle only adds to that incentive. If you cut down on the incentives for batsmen to go for their shots, how are you going to get wickets ? (unless you are trying to argue that getting wickets is not what you are after, as a captain). Just to clarify, it is not the new rule I am bothered about (which is good since the game was becoming too batsmen-friendly). I am worried about the defensive attitude of captains.

Elsewhere, you read about how Murali doesn’t like going for runs (no bowler likes going for runs, but some do not mind buying their wickets)

Cullinan There could be some truth to the fact that he doesn’t like being dominated. The moment we slog-swept him he was very quck to get a deep midwicket and deep mid-on in place.

Thorpe If you can get on top, he might become slightly more defensive – maybe even let you get a single and bowl at the other player.

I am not a great fan of Murali. Not because he is not a good bowler, but because he depends too much on that excessive spin that he somehow manages to generate (even the doosra turns like leg-break). He never looks like he tries to outwit the batsmen. It is almost as if he bulldozes the batsmen into submission with the huge turn and an action that is very difficult to pick. That is my take, anyway and I could be seriously off the mark.

Then, again, each bowler will have his own modus operandi for getting wickets. To each his own. Its just that I find Warne’s legspin more charming than anything Murali or Kumble do.


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