Since the advent of T20 cricket in the professional cricket, spin bowlers have generally fared better than expected in the shortest form of the game.
On the latest episode of the Wisden Cricket Weekly Podcast, the panel of Philippe Auclair, Yas Rana and Jo Harman discussed whether or not, given the data that shows the effectiveness of spin in T20 cricket, sides should pack their line-ups with slower bowlers.
Here’s how the conversation went:
Yas Rana: You say that you were a massive fan of Abdul Qadir, he’d have been a wonderful T20 bowler. Have you enjoyed seeing leg-spinners play a more prominent role in T20 cricket?
Philippe Auclair: I absolutely love that. I was reading a piece that Mike Atherton did with an analyst from CricViz in which he was saying that actually I wasn’t aware of, that the eight top-most bowlers in T20 cricket are leg-spinners. That’s astounding. Of course, it’s a very different kind of leg-spin and based on a completely different dynamic but yes I’m obviously delighted by that. I’m really interested to see how this new influx of leggies is going to translate into longer forms of the game. I’m wondering if it can.
YR: I was at the Under-19 World Cup earlier in the year and out of the five best bowlers in the tournament, three of them were leg-spinners and some teams fielded two wrist-spinners. It’ll be fascinating to see if, particularly in T20 cricket, teams start to fill their teams with more and more wrist-spinners in the years to come.
Spinners are so effective in T20 cricket. I saw a graph from CricViz the other day that showed that in every single over, with maybe the exception of one or two, in a T20 game, spinners have a better economy rate than fast bowlers and that’s with pitches as they are now. So I wonder if in years to come we’ll see spinners used more and more in T20 cricket.
The Wisden Cricket Weekly Podcast is available to listen to on the Podcast App and Spotify.