Home > Features >

ICC Rankings for bowlers in T20Is: No Indian in top 10 hints there is trouble in store?

Ravichandran Ashwin's struggles is a reflection of poor performances by Indian spinners © Getty Images (File Photo)
Ravichandran Ashwin’s struggles is a reflection of poor performances by Indian spinners © Getty Images (File Photo)

Among the top 10 bowlers ranked in the International Cricket Council (ICC) ratings in the Twenty20 format, there is not a single Indian. While all looks fine as long as a team is winning, like in the case of Team India who have won both their matches in the ongoing ICC World T20 so far, one never knows when this chink in the armour becomes a major drawback. Devarchit Varma has more…

Batsmen all over the world adopt a different approach whenever a Sunil Narine or a Saeed Ajmal comes on to bowl. They get cautious when they are introduced early on in a T20 match. The impact that these two star spinners create is immense, and at times their mere presence is enough to send shivers down the spine in the opposition ranks. This fact was evident in the ICC World T20 2014 match between the defending champions the West Indies and Bangladesh, where they hosts were shot out for a paltry 98.

What was noticeable in West Indies’ win was not the comprehensive manner in which they achieved it, but the fact that two spinners, Narine and Samuel Badree — who are also ranked No 1 and 2 in the ICC T20I Rankings — shared seven wickets between them. Bangladesh’s sorry state of affairs is not something new, but what was surprising was the manner in which an Asian team’s batsmen struggled against spinners who are not from the subcontinent. The Bangladeshi batsmen failed to put bat on the ball as the required run rate soured, and Narine kept toying with them with a barrage of carom balls which the hosts failed to read consistently.

The West Indies, like Pakistan, are an unpredictable side. They rely heavily on their spinners as they do on their batsmen; spinners were among the main factors in their win in the 2012 edition of the tournament in Sri Lanka. Narine played only seven matches and claimed nine wickets. The scenario is same with Pakistan. Even though their squad for this World T20 is heavily loaded with pacers, they have an excellent spin attack consisting Ajmal, Shahid Afridi, Shoaib Malik and Mohammad Hafeez.

In short, what these two sides have is spinners, not pace bowlers, who frighten the batsmen. Sri Lanka too are blessed with the likes of Rangana Herath, Ajantha Mendis and Sachithra Senanayake.

The difference that these sides have in comparison to India is huge. India’s frontline spinner is Ravichandran Ashwin, who has not been among the wicket-takers on a regular basis. Of late, he has hung onto his position also because of his batting abilities. In the ICC Rankings, he is ranked at a distant 22nd spot. In the 2012 edition, he had only five scalps out of four matches. Indeed, these figures are worrying when someone like Yuvraj Singh, a part-timer got lot more bowling than the frontline spinner in the previous edition of the ICC World T20: Yuvraj had eight wickets to his name from five matches.

The Indians played only five T20 Internationals (T20Is) between the 2012 and 2014 editions of the T20 World Cup. What this means is that they have certainly not got the right amount of time and opportunities to try out team combinations, and identify the areas that needs some work to be done.

India rely heavily on the spinners when they play at home and even in the subcontinent. In fact, the Indians at times tend to rely more on their spinners than the fast bowlers outside the subcontinent these days. In this tournament, Amit Mishra has finally got his opportunity after waiting on the fringes for long time, and he has shown glimpse of form as well; and, of course, there is the ubiquitous Ravindra Jadeja, who somehow manages to fill in every possible boot. But in the shortest format of the game there are always uncertainties associated and it only takes a few blows for a batsman to put a bowler on back foot and score freely.

It’s not a compulsion for a side to have players in top 10 in all departments and across the formats. But when it comes to a team as big as India not having anyone in the rankings in the T20 format, it does hint some trouble.

The top 10 in International Cricket Council’s (ICC) rankings for bowlers in T20Is has only one seamer – Sri Lanka’s Nuwan Kulasekara. The other nine are spinners! Why are the Indians missing out here? After all, the 70 plus matches the Indian cricketers play every year in the Indian Premier League (IPL) can also yield some result in international cricket, isn’t it?

ICC World T20 2014 schedule: Match time table with venue details

ICC World T20 2014 Points Table and Team Standings

(Devarchit Varma is a reporter with CricketCountry. He can be followed on Twitter @Devarchit)

India tour of England 2014

Aug 30, 2014 (15:00 IST)   at Nottingham

Pakistan tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Aug 30, 2014 (10:00 IST)   at Dambulla

Zimbabwe Triangular Series, 2014

Aug 31, 2014 (13:00 IST)   at Harare

India tour of England 2014

Sep 2, 2014 (15:00 IST)   at Birmingham

Zimbabwe Triangular Series, 2014

Sep 2, 2014 (13:00 IST)   at Harare

More

Zimbabwe Triangular Series, 2014

Aug 29, 2014  at Harare

South Africa won by 61 runs

Zimbabwe Triangular Series, 2014

Aug 27, 2014  at Harare

South Africa won by 7 wkts

Bangladesh Tour of West Indies, 2014

Aug 27, 2014  at Basseterre, St Kitts

No result

India tour of England 2014

Aug 27, 2014  at Cardiff

India won by 133 runs

Pakistan tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Aug 26, 2014  at Hambantota

Sri Lanka won by 77 runs

Photos

Aaron Finch's record 156 vs England in T20I

Videos

Alastair Cook looks ahead to 3rd ODI at Nottingham

Sri Lanka vs Pakistan, Live Cricket Score 3rd ODI at Dambulla: Pakistan are in serious trouble

England, take ODIs seriously if you want to win

Hiralal Gaekwad: the southpaw who lost out to Vinoo Mankad

Lord Ganesha XI: Eleven cricketers who were named after the elephant God

Suresh Raina’s new avatar on India’s tour of England 2014

Australia England England vs India England vs India 2014 India India tour of England 2014 India vs England India vs England 2014 Pakistan Pakistan tour of Sri Lanka 2014 Pakistan vs Sri Lanka Pakistan vs Sri Lanka 2014 South Africa Sri Lanka Sri Lanka vs Pakistan Sri Lanka vs Pakistan 2014 Zimbabwe Triangular Series 2014

Sri Lanka vs Pakistan 2014, 3rd ODI at Dambulla: Umar Akmal dismissed

Sri Lanka vs Pakistan 2014, 3rd ODI at Dambulla: Misbah-ul-Haq run out by Tillakaratne Dilshan

England set to take on India in 3rd ODI amid heavy criticism

Sri Lanka vs Pakistan 2014, 3rd ODI at Dambulla: Mohammad Hafeez dismissed

Sri Lanka vs Pakistan 2014, 3rd ODI at Dambulla: Ahmed Shehzad dismissed

Give Virat Kohli a break, India

India vs England 3rd ODI at Trent Bridge: Why India will miss Rohit Sharma

India vs England 3rd ODI at Trent Bridge: India’s likely XI

MS Dhoni’s statistics at No 5 and 6 in ODIs are phenomenal

India vs England 3rd ODI at Trent Bridge: Key Battles

Fan of the Day

Niharika Shah

Niharika Shah

666 Posts | 6 Fans

12 runs in one ball

United Nation says detained peacekeepers in Syria are ‘safe’

Apple iPhone 6 photos with full casing leaked ahead of September 9 launch

The November Man movie review: Pierce Brosnan shines in an above average spy thriller!

International programme in Animal Husbandry

Apple iWatch won’t ship until next year: Report

Ganesh Chaturthi 2014: Vivek Oberoi brings home Lord Ganesha – View pics!

Pentagon: Iraq operations cost USD 560 million so far

Give Virat Kohli a break, India

NGOs pursue education for all

No more fake withdrawal symptoms — a new app can now catch you in the act

Also on cricketcountry.com

Play Fantasy Cricket & Win

Cash Daily! Click here