Unlike the previous editions of the ICC World Cup held in England, the upcoming one is expected to be played on beautiful batting tracks. The bowlers are likely to find the going tough and a team’s success will depend a lot on how well the spinners perform in the middle overs. Onmanorama picks five spinners who are expected to do the job for their captains.
The Afghan leggie has grown in stature and is one of the leading spinners in world cricket. He is expected to contain the batsmen in addition to picking up vital wickets. Rashid has a superb googly and his greatest strength is his control. With Rashid keeping it tight at one end, his spin bowling partner Mohammed Nabi could benefit. The Afghans are likely to pull off a few surprises and a lot will depend on how the 20-year-old Rashid performs on the big stage.
There is never a dull moment when the veteran leg spinner is in operation. Imran Tahir had a phenomenal IPL season for Chennai Super Kings where he emerged as the top wicket-taker with 26 scalps. Tahir holds the key to the Proteas realising their dream of winning the World Cup which has proved elusive so far. At 40, this is going to be Tahir’s final shot at World Cup glory and expect him to be at the top of his game when South Africa take on hosts England in the inaugural match of the competition on May 30.
The left-arm chinaman bowler had a forgettable season for Kolkata Knight Riders in the recent IPL. But Kuldeep Yadav has got a bag of tricks up his sleeve and discount him at one’s peril. Kuldeep is India’s number one spinner in the shorter format and he has formed a potent combination with leggie Yuzvendra Chahal. The Men in Blue are likely to filed only one spinner in the early part of the tournament and how Kuldeep fares will have a huge impact on the team’s fortunes. Kuldeep may go for runs, but he is also likely to pick up vital wickets. He can also bowl in the slog overs and peg the opposition back with timely strikes.
The last time England hosted the World Cup in 1999, Australian spin legend Shane Warne played a stellar role in Steve Waugh’s men clinching the title. Another leggie Adam Zampa is expected to deliver as Aaron Finch’s men begin their title defence. Zampa is a steady bowler and has the ability to snare the big players. He should complement the Australian pace trio of Mitchell Starc, Pat Cummins and Jason Behrendorff.
Adil Rashid has not looked back after his exploits against India last summer. After a fruitful ODI series, the leggie came out of his Test retirement and had his moments in the series win over Virat Kohli’s men. As England eye a maiden World Cup crown, the 31-year-old is vital to captain Eoin Morgan’s plans. Rashid has loads of experience and his partnership with offie Moeen Ali will go a long way in whether England break the jinx at last.