Sunday, December 4, 2011

The Spinner's Story Down Under

We are just few weeks away from one of the most anticipated cricket series and that is India vs Australia that too down under! It doesn't get bigger than this. Especially looking at the amount of interest these two teams have generated among the cricket fans when they both play each other.

Indian senior players would be sent earlier to get accustomed with the Australian conditions. The same strategy was applied when India visited South Africa last time and they did a pretty good job there. They went against this strategy when they visited England earlier this year and we all know the story after that. So Indian team feels it is better to stick to the safer option and send seniors like Sachin and Dravid a bit early.

Then why don't they send the spinners with those senior cricketers? This is a question that crossed my mind simply because even spinners have faced tough time in Australia and this doesn't apply to the Indian spinners only. Recently Harbhajan has faced a tough time and he also injured himself in a first class match in India. So bad form as well as an injury now to add on, keeps him out of the International cricket scenario. Ashwin and Ojha have made the best out of his absence. They together clinched 42 wickets in the recently concluded India vs West Indies test series. In last 17 years, this has been the best stats by Indian spinners in a 3 test or less of a series. It was in 1994 when 44 wickets were claimed by a spin trio of Kumble, Chauhan and Raju.

Story is certainly going to be different or probably a complete other way round down under. Ashwin and Ojha will have to struggle hard to clinch wickets. Pitches out there have lack of spin and they support bounce. Now the word "bounce' raises a question in my mind. Ashwin wasn't happy with the lack of bounce in Mumbai test. Does this mean he is fond of better bounce and this may work as a plus point for him in Australia? Probably yes! Hence the bounce out there can prove beneficial to this off spinner.

Let us have a look at a piece of record which shows most wicket clinched by any overseas spinner in Australia (since 2000). In this record, Anil Kumble stands on the 1st position with 44 wickets in 8 test matches. A bowler from the neighbouring country New Zealand; Daniel Vettori has 29 wickets to his name in 9 test matches. Kaneria stands third with 24 wickets in 5 test matches in Australia. This stats show that apart from Anil Kumble actually the spinners have struggled a bit in Australia.

Well, it doesn't seem India will play Ojha and Ashwin together keeping in mind the quick and bouncy tracks of Australia. So Ojha and Ashwin may not bowl in tandem but this article may help them to set their targets in terms of minimum wickets to be clinched. Share your thoughts and views on cricket and stay updated with live cricket streaming updates.

1 comment:

  1. Bad times for Harbhajan. Kumble is an inspiration for spinners and he managed a lot of LBWs in Australia. Ashwin and Ojha should stick to a good length so that they get more of such LBWs.