Bangladesh v India, World T20, Group 2, Mirpur

India flourish in spin-friendly conditions

Abhishek Purohit in Mirpur

March 28, 2014

Comments: 21 | Text size: A | A

R Ashwin removed Saeed Ajmal in the last over, India v Pakistan, Asia Cup, Mirpur, March 2, 2014
Spinners have been the Man of the Match in all three of India's matches in the World T20 © AFP
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Just over a week ago, if anyone had said that India's bowling would set up three successive wins to take them to the semi-finals of the World T20, he would have been laughed at. This was a side that had not won a single game in any format on its previous two tours, to South Africa and New Zealand. Things had gone so bad after the ODI series in New Zealand was lost, that MS Dhoni had said he had no clarity on which fast bowlers he could take with him to the 2015 World Cup.

In Bangladesh, an India bowler has been Man of the Match in all their three games so far. The major headache has become a major strength, as India have restricted Pakistan, West Indies and Bangladesh to below 140 each. Just what has changed so quickly from South Africa and New Zealand? It is all about the conditions favouring the India spinners, according to MS Dhoni. The India captain felt that with their inconsistent quick bowlers, India tended to find it hard on batting-friendly surfaces which did not assist their spinners.

"Where we have struggled in limited-overs format - both T20 and 50-overs cricket - it is wickets which are good to bat on and which don't support the spinners," Dhoni said. "That means even the part-timers have struggled in those few overs apart from (Suresh) Raina in the subcontinental conditions. If there's not much lateral movement, they bowl at the right pace to get hit may be.

"The bowlers who bowl quick, they don't bowl in the same areas. We have got definitely some potential when it comes to sheer fast bowling. Varun (Aaron) is someone who can bowl quick, Umesh (Yadav) is someone who can bowl at 140-plus. But still they are struggling to find their line and length. It may take a bit of time. Because once they go back and play domestic season, they can bowl back of length and get away with it in most games. But in international circuit it doesn't really happen."

In Bangladesh, and particularly in Dhaka, the pitches have afforded sufficient turn and some bounce for the spinners. There has not been too much dew around as well, even though India's games have all been night ones. India's spinners have taken 14 wickets compared to their fast bowlers' four strikes in their three matches so far. While Ravindra Jadeja has been a touch expensive, R Ashwin and Amit Mishra have thrived in helpful conditions and have not only taken wickets, but have economy-rates of 5.16 and 5.50.

"In this tournament particularly, I think, there is a bit of purchase for the spinners," Dhoni said. "We are playing with three spinners and even the part-timers... Raina has been bowling well, we have still not used Yuvraj Singh, Virat Kohli is there, Rohit (Sharma) is there. When the conditions favour us, I think our bowlers become very exciting and they make the most out of it. But they have struggled on wickets where there is no purchase for spinners."

Abhishek Purohit is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

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Posted by   on (March 30, 2014, 6:44 GMT)

It will be more interesting if Yuvi start bowling for today's match against Aussies.

Posted by Nampally on (March 29, 2014, 14:33 GMT)

Luckily for Dhoni, Kohli paved the way for Mishra by including him in the XI in the Asia Cup. Mishra performed brilliantly. Dhoni had benched all RH leg spinners in the past such as Rahul Sharma, Chawla & Mishra. After Mishra's great showing in the Asia cup, he was forced to include Mishra in XI. To the surprise of Dhoni, Mishra was the trump card which helped India win all 3 T20 2014 WC matches. Mishra even showed that he can bowl the "death over" better than Kumar or Shami by claiming 2 wkts. in the "20th over"! So Kohli deserves most of the credit for Mishra's Rise . It is unfortunate that Dhoni had little or no knowledge of great leg spinners like Subash Gupte or Chandra. He Played with Kumble briefly. India won matches via spinners during 50 years before Dhoni. When you have "Specialist" bowlers like Mishra, the part timers become redundant! Now India needs few good pace bowlers by trying out Aaron, Pandey, Yadev & others. Dhoni needs to focus on Developing Not Benching Bowlers!

Posted by insightfulcricketer on (March 29, 2014, 13:15 GMT)

The biggest lesson for Dhoni from here is bowler win matches. Its a cricketing truth. This should be his mantra in the next 12 months play 5 batsmen and 5 bowler in test/odis/t20 will lead to decent results and not white washes.I know this is T20 but the more gruelling games are ahead starting summer.

Hopefully he takes this lesson to heart and not get fooled by captain Cool nonsense.

Posted by sweetspot on (March 29, 2014, 11:53 GMT)

India have quality and quantity in their spin ranks, enabling them if they choose to, to bowl 20 overs of spin, with about 12-14 of them being very decent, controlled stuff. Brave of MSD to go with three front line spin options, despite having the part timers.

Posted by android_user on (March 29, 2014, 10:16 GMT)

@Realfan And there comes the brigade. Why should I bash somecountry when my own aren't performing too well? Before you come all guns blazing just remember I said NZ are rubbish outside home too. The best we gad were 80's and 200-2004. NZ were no. 3 at start of 2010 and 7 (even 9 in 2012) in odi's. But in past they had victories in south africa, england overseas. Still rmthey got from 8 to 7. Thus is where I said why don't India get to 4th or 5th after loss to no. 8 ranked team? And why aren't they shifted to 5-6? We have been consistent if you remove Bangladesh series.

Posted by android_user on (March 29, 2014, 10:02 GMT)

such a really good swing bowling nd really superb batting...

Posted by realfan on (March 29, 2014, 9:36 GMT)

@ Shane Bond : looks like you have been offended by some way or the other... i just said you have comented wrong comment in the wrtong article... this article is about how india succed in spin friendly track and you are commenting about rankings.. is it because india reached no.1 in T20 or some other reason??? ok here is why india did not rank 5 or 6 or even lower rank after NZ tests recently... you might have noticed there waas considerable decrease in points before the series and after the series... but the fact is the topp 3 are ( i should say " were " ) too dominating that the points difference in table is too large , if i am not wrong india had nearly 120 points before series and now they have 112, fair enough they have lowered their points...now if they lose against eng in upsoming series they will be dislodged from 3rd spot and may get 4th or even 5th.... i just said i dont see any reason for your coment and you took is offensively.. good for you.. chill.

Posted by AsifAbbasi on (March 29, 2014, 9:23 GMT)

The real test of these spinners will come when they defend a target.

When the pressure is on, and they have to defend a 150-160 score, it will be a different ball game altogether...

MSD is lucky to win all the tosses and as long as India chase a smallish total, it is OK.

Having said all that, the spinners have been amazing as of now...

Posted by android_user on (March 29, 2014, 8:52 GMT)

@Realfan And there comes the brigade. Why should I bash somecountry when my own aren't performing too well? Before you come all guns blazing just remember I said NZ are rubbish outside home too. The best we gad were 80's and 200-2004. NZ were no. 3 at start of 2010 and 7 (even 9 in 2012) in odi's. But in past they had victories in south africa, england overseas. Still rmthey got from 8 to 7. Thus is where I said why don't India get to 4th or 5th after loss to no. 8 ranked team? And why aren't they shifted to 5-6? We have been consistent if you remove Bangladesh series.

Posted by realfan on (March 29, 2014, 8:03 GMT)

@ Shane Bond : india performed well over past few years even outside india ... remember they were no.1 at one time and because of their non performance in recent years they have been deranked to no.3 cant you see there is decrese of 2 ranks... and even if they not perform in future they will agains go down in ranking... simple ... before WC11 india has performed well overseaas ( won test series in NZ, ENG, WI, drew in SA, AUS) and that why they wetre on top at that time.... it looks as if if a team is not performed over 2 years they should rank somewhere between 10 and 15... that gives newzealand a ranking of somehwere between 25 to 30... moreover why did you coment on ranking in this article if not for bashing??? i see no reason for your comment in this article ...

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Tournament Results
India v Sri Lanka at Dhaka - Apr 6, 2014
Sri Lanka won by 6 wickets (with 13 balls remaining)
India v South Africa at Dhaka - Apr 4, 2014
India won by 6 wickets (with 5 balls remaining)
Sri Lanka v West Indies at Dhaka - Apr 3, 2014
Sri Lanka won by 27 runs (D/L method)
Pakistan v West Indies at Dhaka - Apr 1, 2014
West Indies won by 84 runs
Bangladesh v Australia at Dhaka - Apr 1, 2014
Australia won by 7 wickets (with 15 balls remaining)
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