20 October, 2020

Voodoo's Spell

Spin has woven its way into the hurly-burly of one-day cricket. It may well be the good-luck charm for a few teams.

Voodoo's Spell

IT took spinners almost 15 years of hard toil to underline that they had a major role to play in one-day internationals. Not till the World Championship of Cricket in Australia in '84-85 did spin bowlers make the psychological breakthrough and prove to the cricket world that they could hold their own in pressure situations. More than anyone else, it was leggie Laxman Sivaramakrishnan who helped bring about this revolution. Siva was the highest wicket taker in that tournament which India won—close on the heels of their historic triumph in the '83 World Cup. By the time of the '92 World Cup, New Zealand were using off-spinner Dipak Patel as an opening bowler.

The enhanced role of the spin bowler has brought variety back into one-day cricket, for years dominated by military medium pacers who pegged away on an off-stump line to tie down batsmen. In '83 we won the World Cup almost enti- Photographs byrely due to the efforts of our medium-pacers. Spinners like Ravi Shastri played only a minor part in the triumph. Today, not only do spin bowlers come on before the 15-over...



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