The sight of a leg spinner in full flight deceiving and deluding the batsman at their will dazzles every cricket fan in this world. Leg spin mind you is an art and a difficult one, and not many can proclaim to be the masters of it. It is said artist’s cannot be trained, they are born with the talent from the womb of their mothers. This holds true of a leg spinner, the natural ability of the masters is with them since birth what is required is mere polishing. With leg spinners there is always something happening and every cricket fan is on their toe waiting for the story to unfold. The batsman on being dismissed is left awestruck moving back languishing and admiring the art.
The onerous nature of this art means the leg spinner may leak runs but on the flip side, the natural ability of leg spinners to take wickets is what brings success to them. While off spinners have the ability to contain the batsman but they are no match to the wicket taking ability of leg spinners.The wickets in the end is what matters nothing else. Players like Samuel Badree, Amit Mishra and Imran Tahir have proved their credentials not only by picking wickets but also stopping the run flow at the same time.
Amit Mishra being one of the conventional leg spinners relying on flight, beats the batsman in air and has struck the right cords and has come across as a “tour de force” in T20 cricket. It was good to see him bowling fearlessly luring the batsman in flight and then leaving them puzzled with his googly. His numbers in IPL and the T20 World Cup speak for themselves.
Imran tahir on other hand, has bewildered the batsman with his pace variations and his mix of googlies. Another leg spinner emerged victorious. Badree being the most unconventional of three, oozed the batsman with his accuracy bolwing four overs straight for his team. The gutsy Trinidadian bowler was easily the best opening bowler in T20 world cup wreaking havoc among the batsman.
After the T20 World Cup, IPL also saw emergence of several Leg spinners who left a mark on the big stage. Karn Sharma, Praveen Tambe, Yuzvendra Chahal were a few of them. Chahal a player never heard of, emerged as an important player in RCB line up. He not only applied brakes on the scoring rate but took wickets at crucial moments of the game. Praveen Tambe was the most consistent bowler. He bowled the right line and length taking wickets consistently. The 42 year old was no less than a nightmare for batsman always looking like picking a wicket. Not only that, he even took a hat-trick this season. Karn Sharma in addition with his team mate Amit Mishra continued to trouble the batsman. This season of IPL certainly belonged to these uncapped unheard Leg spinners and they have been nothing short of a revelation
With Champions League around the corner there is another chance for leg spinners to prove themselves, will they rise to the occasion remains to be foreseen. Samuel Badree, Piyush Chawla will be two important leg spinners to look forward to.
The world has seen several masters of this art Abdul Qadir, Anil Kumble, Shane Warne to name a few. These greats raised the bar of leg spin. With retirement of Warne and Kumble, the art faces the question of survival in the shorter format,with captains looking to off spinners for containing the batsman. The Mishras and Tahirs of this world have taken the beacon from the greats and it’s up to them to take it from here.