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Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 10 December 2018

World Cup Qualifier 2018: Sandeep Lamichhane and the rest of the leg-spin cartel

Paul Radley looks at the leggies who could cause big problems in Zimbabwe

Nepal's Sandeep Lamichhane in action for his country in the World Cricket League Division 2 in Namibia. Image courtesy of Johan Jooste
Nepal's Sandeep Lamichhane in action for his country in the World Cricket League Division 2 in Namibia. Image courtesy of Johan Jooste

There will be a rich seam of talented wrist-spinners on show at the World Cup Qualifier in Zimbabwe this month.

Sandeep Lamichhane (Nepal)

ICC ODI ranked: N/A

The fact he has yet to play a full one-day international shows how far both he and his country have come to even reach this point. Lamichhane attracted global attention when he was recruited to play for Delhi Daredevils at the Indian Premier League auction.

He showed there is substance to the hype the IPL call up attracted, as he was named player of the tournament in the World Cricket League Division 2 in Namibia in February. His 17 wickets were the major driver for Nepal making it through that competition.

Rashid Khan looks on during a match between Kabul Eagles and Band-e-Amir Dragons during the Shpageeza Cricket League T20 tournament at the Kabul International Cricket ground in Kabul. Wakil Kohsar / AFP
Rashid Khan looks on during a match between Kabul Eagles and Band-e-Amir Dragons during the Shpageeza Cricket League T20 tournament at the Kabul International Cricket ground in Kabul. Wakil Kohsar / AFP

Rashid Khan (Afghanistan)

ICC ODI ranked: First

Tied at the top of the world rankings for bowlers alongside India’s Jasprit Bumrah. Which is a remarkable feat, given he is still a teenager, and Afghanistan themselves only became Full members of the ICC last year.

His form, typically, is blistering. In a five-match series against Zimbabwe in Sharjah last month, he took 16 wickets at an average of less than eight, with an economy rate of 3.22.

The opposition will need to find a way to master him if they are to thwart Afghanistan’s bid for qualification. Many have tried to do that in his career to date. None have succeeded.

Zimbabwe cricket captain Graeme Cremer reacts during the final day of a one-off Test match between Sri Lanka and Zimbabwe at the R Premadasa Cricket Stadium in Colombo on July 18, 2017. AFP
Zimbabwe cricket captain Graeme Cremer reacts during the final day of a one-off Test match between Sri Lanka and Zimbabwe at the R Premadasa Cricket Stadium in Colombo on July 18, 2017. AFP

Graeme Cremer (Zimbabwe)

ICC ODI ranked: 29th

Cremer first played Test cricket 13 years ago, and now juggles his bowling commitments with the captaincy.

“With the home crowd behind us we are confident about our chances,” Cremer said of leading the side in the Qualifier. “It will be very special for me to captain the side and take the team through to the World Cup.”

He was Zimbabwe’s leading wicket-taker against Afghanistan in the series in Sharjah, with nine in the five matches – although that was seven less than his opposite number, Rashid, managed.

Devendra Bishoo, centre, produced bowling figures of eight for 49 on Day 4 of the Pakistan v West Indies Test match in Dubai in October 2017. Aamir Oureshi / AFP
Devendra Bishoo, centre, produced bowling figures of eight for 49 on Day 4 of the Pakistan v West Indies Test match in Dubai in October 2017. Aamir Oureshi / AFP

Devendra Bishoo (West Indies)

ICC ODI ranked: 120

Not a regular started for West Indies in limited-overs cricket, hence his lowly ICC ranking compared to his Test position of No 23.

There are three West Indian spinners higher placed than him in the ODI standings – although Sunil Narine and Sulieman Benn are not part of the current squad.

The Guyanese leg-spinner has been in the wickets in 50-over cricket in the Caribbean, though, and could be a threat if he gets a chance in the Qualifier.

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