Once upon a time, team India’s bowling attack completely relied on their spinners. The much famed spin quartet that comprised the great Erapalli Prasanna, Bishan Singh Bedi, Bhagwat Chandrasekhar and Srinivas Venkataraghavan, shone many a times for India. Even more recently, Anil Kumble and Harbhajan Singh starred in many victories for India around the world. Off late, it’s a discipline where India have struggled especially outside the subcontinent.

In Indian conditions, the likes of Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja and Pragyan Ojha have looked lethal but they haven’t managed to penetrate through the batting line-ups outside the country and this has been one of the key reasons behind India’s failure to clinch 20 wickets in a Test.

As the side prepares itself for the Bangladesh tour, a lot of India’s fortunes will depend on how the spinners fare. Ashwin is the leader of the spin department and the experienced Harbhajan Singh makes a comeback despite of a dismal First-Class season. Falling back to Harbhajan, once again raises doubts over the dearth of quality spinners coming through the domestic ranks. In conditions that will favour spin, Ashwin and Harbhajan are both off-spinners and are likely to play considering a left-hander dominated Bangladesh batting. The other spinner in the squad is Karn Sharma, a leg spinner, who had an unimpressive Test debut in Australia. It will be interesting to see what combination captain Virat Kohli opts for, knowing the fact that he has a fondness for attacking with leg-spinners. He will wisely have to choose between the experience of Ashwin and Harbhajan, and threat that Karn brings to the table.

On the other hand, Bangladesh who have been the favourite whipping boys of cricket have come of age and have a potent spin attack. In fact, spin bowling is a discipline where their strength lies. In Shakib Al Hasan and Taijul Islam, they have two reliable left-arm bowlers who can trouble the right-hander dominated Indian batting. They have a leg-spinner in teenage Jubair Hossain, while all-rounders Mahmudullah and Shuvagata Hom can bowl effective off-break.

Though the Bangladesh side looks more balanced in terms of spin attack, India has the experience of Ashwin and Harbhajan. However one thing is to be noted that Harbhajan is making a national comeback after more than two years and he will be under a lot of pressure.

Designed by Srushti Takale
Designed by Srushti Takale

 

(Suvajit Mustafi consumes cricket for lunch, fiction for dinner and munches numerous other snacks throughout the day. Yes, a jack of several trades , all Suvajit dreamt of was being India’s World Cup winning skipper but ended up being a sports writer, author, screenwriter, director, copywriter, graphic designer, sportsmarketer , strategist, entrepreneur,  philosopher and traveller. Donning so many hats, it’s cricket which gives him the ultimate high and where he finds solace. He can be followed at @RibsGully and rivu7)

More from this writer:

Stuart Binny: Eight facts about the Indian all-rounder

It’s time to play Watling as just a specialist batsman

Steve Smith: 11 facts about the Australian run-machine