Leg-spin checks in as Sandeep Lamichhane and Pravin Tambe prove their worth in T10 League
Just two days into Sharjah competition and wrist spinners have already shown why they are crucial to their respective teams
Ten-over cricket is still in such a state of infancy that it is tricky to deduce many trends or clear strategies.
Generally, captains appear most comfortable giving the bulk of their overs to pace bowlers, in particular left-arm pace bowlers.
Pakistan quicks Wahab Riaz and Sohail Tanvir, for example, were standouts in last year’s debut campaign of the T10 League.
If the first two days of Season 2 have proved anything, though, it is that there should still be space for leg-spin in the bowling side’s make up.
The leading six bowlers in the world rankings for Twenty20 bowlers are all leg-spinners, so it figures they might be able to handle a format abbreviated by 10 more overs.
On the opening two days of competition, two wrist spinners have shone brightly.
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Sandeep Lamichhane celebrated landing a Pakistan Super League deal in Tuesday’s draft by taking a match-turning three-wicket haul in his first game for Kerala Knights in Sharjah on Wednesday.
A day later, and with Lamichhanne – a massive 30 years his junior – in opposition, Pravin Tambe struck with a hat-trick and the first five-wicket haul in the competition.
Despite his tender years, 17-year-old Nepal spinner Lamichhane is impressively switched on when it comes to his craft.
“In the shortest format of cricket you have to pitch the ball in the right area and keep it away from the batsmen,” Lamichhane said.
“You have to make every plan very quickly in T10. You need to be even more aware than in T20.
“It was really hard to combine all the things from planning and implement them, but the plan did work for me [against Pakhtoon on the opening day].
“I want to keep the ball away from the batsmen and the more I can use my variations, the more it will work for me.”
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Tambe might have been a late arrival in top-level cricket. He was 41 when he was first given a chance in the Indian Premier league.
Like Lamichhane, he is sanguine about bowling at batsmen who are intent on savaging the bowling attack they are faced with.
“T10 is a good format for entertainment, and my advice to youngsters is, you don’t have to take negatives from here, only positives,” Tambe said.
“In this league, on any given day a team can be demolished, or also be a success. We are not thinking about the games that have gone.
“Every game is new for us and we have to think positively. When I go to bowl, I don’t think about the wicket, I think about my preparation, and what I did in the nets.”
Updated: November 22, 2018 10:57 PM