Opening with spinners

26 Feb 2011 by Vinay Anand in ICC Cricket World Cup 2011
Nathan McCullum has done a good job for New Zealand up front with the new ball

Nathan McCullum has done a good job for New Zealand up front with the new ball

Ever since Deepak Patel first opened the bowling for New Zealand under Martin Crowe, opening with spinners seems to have become a bit of a trend. They did it right through the 90’s with the Windies taking it through to the turn of the century.

With flatter tracks in the sub continent, it is New Zealand again who are definite on opening their bowling with a spinner. Nathan McCullum is the one who is given the job and has done it pretty well in the recent past.

Zimbabwe, West Indies and South Africa are the other teams who are looking to use this strategy.

West Indies and South Africa are the astonishing ones, couple of decades back, you would never have imagined a spinner opening the bowling with these two teams. Indeed, in Harsha Bhogle’s words, the cricketing equivalent of the el- nino. Seems a worth while strategy as the ball does not come onto the bat and the harder newer ball offers the spinners with greater bounce.

Most teams rich in spin will look to use them right up front especially against foreign teams like Australia and England as they are not known to handle the spinners well.

An interesting move to say the least and is pretty much a safe bet against teams like Australia and England.

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