West Indies v India, 2nd Test, St Lucia, 3rd day June 12, 2006

India's other offspinner

Virender Sehwag has ensured that India haven't felt the absence of a second specialist spinner so far in the St Lucia Test

When India went in the match with only one spinner and the pitch showed signs of taking turn, it was thought that Harbhajan Singh would be missed. So far at least, that has hardly been the case, thanks to Virender Sehwag, who followed his spanking 180 with an exhibition of offspin bowling that would have done Harbhajan proud. Not only did Sehwag manage plenty of drift and turn, he also maintained excellent control over line and length, as figures of 3 for 33 from 16.1 overs testify.

The graphic below shows that he bowled an impeccable length, as good as what Anil Kumble managed. Seventy-six of his 97 deliveries landed on a good length - that's 78%. For Kumble, the corresponding figure was 76%. Sehwag also induced false strokes from the batsmen 22% of the time, slightly more than Kumble's 18%. So far in this series, Sehwag has taken seven wickets at an average of 14.85, easily the best among all bowlers in this series. Add that to a series aggregate of 257 runs - the highest among batsmen from both teams - and it's clear that he's the early frontrunner for the Man-of-the-Series award.

S Rajesh is stats editor of Cricinfo.