Home > Features > Facts and figures >

ICC World T20 2014: There has really been no revival of leg-spin, or even all spin

There has been a notion that success of Imran Tahir (left), Samuel Badree (centre and Amit Mishra has resulted in revival of leg-spin bowling © Getty Images (File Photo)
There has been a notion that success of Imran Tahir (left), Samuel Badree (centre) and Amit Mishra has resulted in revival of leg-spin bowling © Getty Images (File Photo)

As the ICC World T20 2014 closes in on the final, a notion has been making the rounds that the tournament has marked the revival of spin (especially leg-spin). The hypothesis is based mostly on the success of the likes of Amit Mishra, Imran Tahir, and Samuel Badree. Abhishek Mukherjee probes deeper to find out whether that is indeed the case.

The fact that Imran Tahir, Samuel Badree, Ravichandran Ashwin, and Amit Mishra reside peacefully in the top six in the list of wicket-takers probably sends out a notion that the ongoing ICC World T20 2014 has marked the rebirth of leg-spin, especially in the shortest version of the sport.

The spinner, of course, is not the most glamorous among bowlers. Instead of emitting fire from their noses, sending stumps cart-wheeling, and intimidating batsmen he chooses a different path: he tosses the ball in the air, he doesn’t really care about giving away runs, he loves luring batsmen, he beats the batsmen in flight and loop, and he takes advantage of the gullible men who think they can easily hit him out of the park.

Let us check how valid the point is:

ICC World T20 2014

All T20Is

B

R

W

Ave

SR

Econ

B

R

W

Ave

SR

Econ

Seam

4,229

5,471

214

25.57

19.8

7.76

54,585

69,757

2,856

24.42

19.1

7.67

Spin

3,193

3,666

163

22.49

19.6

6.89

33,168

37,772

1,673

22.58

19.8

6.83

Mixture

59

53

2

26.50

29.5

5.39

659

850

31

27.42

21.3

7.74

If anything, there has been an improvement, however small, for the seamers; the spinners have been performing the way they have been doing. In other words, there has been no revival of spin.

What is it, then, that set the spinners apart from the others in the tournament? Let us consider the top 25 wicket-takers from each type of bowling, which also brings the cut-off down to five wickets. It is to be noted that the list contains 12 seamers and 13 spinners, which is not a substantial difference.

Bowlers with 5+ wickets

Bowlers with 5+ wickets

M

B

R

W

B/M

Ave

SR

Econ

M

B

R

W

B/M

Ave

SR

Econ

Seam

64

1,241

1,552

87

19.4

17.84

14.3

7.50

169

2,988

3,919

127

17.7

30.86

23.5

7.87

Spin

55

1,141

1,094

80

20.7

13.68

14.3

5.75

123

2,052

2,572

83

16.7

30.99

24.7

7.52

Mixture

3

59

53

2

19.7

26.50

29.5

5.39

Do note that there is a significant seam-spin difference in average and economy rate among the top bowlers. For the rest, however, seamers have done just as well as spinners.

This only means one thing: there have been some spinners who have done exceptionally throughout the tournament, but it can hardly be called a “revival of spin bowling”. These bowlers have sent down only 36% of the total balls bowled: the remaining 64%, on the other hand, have actually fared worse than their seam counterparts.

In other words, there may have been a few stars, but generally seamers have done a job as good as the spinners.

The leg-spin myth

The other myth that has been doing the rounds is the notion that the tournament has marked the revival of “the lost art of leg-spin”. How much truth is there in the statement? Let us find out. Since off-break and leg-break data is not available for all bowlers, let us consider these spinners (who have taken five or more wickets in the tournament):

5+ wickets

Count

B

R

W

Ave

SR

Econ

Right-arm leg-break

3

348

359

32

11.22

10.9

6.19

Right-arm off-break

3

326

266

21

12.67

15.5

4.90

Left-arm orthodox

7

587

600

39

15.38

15.1

6.13

There is not much to choose from between the top three off-spinners and the top three leg-spinners. The leg-spinners have picked up more wickets, while the off-spinners have conceded less runs. Do note that of the 13 bowlers who have picked up over five wickets in the tournament, seven are left-arm orthodox spinners, which makes the comparison with the other two groups somewhat unfair. If we consider the top five bowlers from each style (sorted by wickets, then economy rate), the numbers do not look significantly different.

Top 5 bowlers

Count

B

R

W

Ave

SR

Econ

Right-arm leg-break

5

474

499

39

12.79

12.2

6.32

Right-arm off-break

5

488

411

29

14.17

16.8

5.05

Left-arm orthodox

5

385

372

29

12.83

13.3

5.80

Not much to choose from there. The tournament, thus, has not really revived leg-spin: it has revived all styles of spin (which is partially true) to the same extent. In other words, there has been nothing special about leg-spin in the tournament.

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

 (Abhishek Mukherjee is the Deputy Editor and Cricket Historian at CricketCountry. He blogs at http://ovshake.blogspot.in and can be followed on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/ovshake42)

 

Pakistan vs Australia in UAE, 2014

Oct 30, 2014 (11:30 IST)   at Abu Dhabi

Sri Lanka tour of India, 2014

Nov 2, 2014 (13:30 IST)   at Cuttack

Zimbabwe tour of Bangladesh, 2014

Nov 3, 2014 (09:00 IST)   at Khulna

South Africa tour of Australia, 2014

Nov 5, 2014 (14:05 IST)   at Adelaide

Sri Lanka tour of India, 2014

Nov 6, 2014 (13:30 IST)   at Ahmedabad

More

West Indies tour of India, 2014

Nov 15, 2014  at Ahmedabad

Match cancelled

West Indies tour of India, 2014

Nov 7, 2014  at Bengaluru

Match cancelled

West Indies tour of India, 2014

Oct 30, 2014  at Hyderabad

Match cancelled

South Africa tour of New Zealand, 2014

Oct 27, 2014  at Hamilton

No result

Zimbabwe tour of Bangladesh, 2014

Oct 25, 2014  at Dhaka

Bangladesh won by 3 wkts

Photos

Pakistan vs Australia, 2nd Test

Videos

Tendulkar provides teaser on upcoming book

Pakistan vs Australia 2014: Younis Khan’s double ton puts Pakistan on top against Australia at stumps on Day 2 of 2nd Test

Duleep Trophy 2014-15 final: Central Zone 214/4 at stumps; lead by 111 runs

Yuvraj Singh — have we seen the last of the man who won India three World Cups?

Younis Khan continues piling up records for Pakistan

KL Rahul could be opening option for India’s tour to Australia

Australia Australia tour of UAE 2014 Australia vs Pakistan Australia vs Pakistan 2014 Central Zone Duleep Trophy Duleep Trophy 2014-15 India Pakistan Pakistan vs Australia Pakistan vs Australia 2014 South Zone South Zone vs Central Zone Sri Lanka Sri Lanka tour of India 2014

India vs Sri Lanka 1st ODI at Cuttack, Preview: Teams aim for winning start

WICB officials should visit India to minimize damage: Andy Roberts

Younis Khan: I want to be remembered as team-man

ICC World Cup 2015: New Zealand prime minister urges Indian fans to attend the tournament

Mohammad Yousuf: Muttiah Muralitharan would not have been allowed to bowl under current ICC rules

Don Bradman dismissed twice on the same day

Virat Kohli’s captaincy opportunities important in context of India’s succession plans

Rohit Sharma looks to strengthen career after an inconsistent year

Younis Khan equals Javed Miandad’s record of most 150+ scores by Pakistan batsman

India vs Sri Lanka 2014: Manish Pandey showing signs of fulfilling potential

Fan of the Day

Niharika Shah

Niharika Shah

678 Posts | 6 Fans

Video Highlights: Younis Khan century during Pakistan vs Australia 1st Test at Dubai

India A vs Sri Lanka: Fringe players look to impress

NGOs pursue education for all

Dance Basanti from Ungli: Put on your dancing shoes and practice the Basanti move!

Weight Loss Tip #59: Eat oranges to lose weight

Sensex surges 150 points in early trade to regain 27,000-mark

PricewaterhouseCoopers partners Google to offer business solutions to clients

Google X Lab working on nanoparticles to help detect diseases early

Priyanka Chopra has the best no make-up selfie on Instagram, think fans!

Lisa Haydon: I slept off midway while watching the original Shaukeen!

International programme in Animal Husbandry

Also on cricketcountry.com

Play Fantasy Cricket & Win

Cash Daily! Click here