x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

Bowlers have fans in a spin

Tharindu Kaushal, 19, has yet to play in a first class or List A game, but he has been promoted straight from the age-group team that played in the Under 19 World Cup in Australia.

Sri Lanka's batsman Kaushal Silva plays a shot against Pakistanon the opening day of the second cricket Test between Pakistan and Sri Lanka at Dubai's international cricket stadiumn Dubai .
Sri Lanka's batsman Kaushal Silva plays a shot against Pakistanon the opening day of the second cricket Test between Pakistan and Sri Lanka at Dubai's international cricket stadiumn Dubai .

A debate is raging over Sri Lanka's mystery spinners. First came Ajantha Mendis, then Akila Dananuaya and, now, Tharindu Kaushal, who was included the country's one-day international and Test squad against New Zealand.

Kaushal, 19, has yet to play in a first class or List A game, but he has been promoted straight from the age-group team that played in the Under 19 World Cup in Australia.

He is expected to make his debut in the first Test in Galle from November 17.

Opinion is divided, with some claiming that encouraging such an unorthodox spin formula is to lose genuine traditional bowlers. Others disagree, saying orthodox spinners cannot upset the rhythm of batsmen.

Ajith de Silva, a former Sri Lanka left-arm spinner, says the emergence of the mystery spinners is good for the national sides. "There are so many variations in a mystery spinner like the off spin, leg spin, carom flicks and so on," he said.

He said that not many can emulate the "inborn talent" of such bowling.

Ranjan Paranvithana, a coach, says insisting on variations will cost the game genuine orthodox spinners. "Even [Muttiah Muralitharan] took a long time to develop the doosra, but he used it too often and lost his main weapon, the big off breaks," he said.

However, common wisdom says that one needs to out-think and outplay an opponent to be successful, whether be it in cricket, football, martial arts, or any other sport.

The mystery spinner is a positive step forward.

apassela@thenational.ae

twitter Follow us @SprtNationalUAE