T20 cricket is pretty gripping and accept it or not people come to the ground to witness as many 4s and 6s as possible. This can be a bit of a let down for the bowlers at times. But having quality pacers and spinners is as important as having good batsmen in the rank to form a balanced team.
We can’t forget our mystery spinners Sunil Narine, Varun Chakravarthy and our chinaman Kuldeep Yadav for their efforts to bring KKR home on many occasions. Today we will look at the Top 5 spinners who have performed well in the recently-concluded Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy 2020-21 (SMAT) and are in the shortlisted players’ list that will go under the hammer in Chennai tomorrow (Feb 18).
Jalaj Saxena: Among the available domestic spinners, Saxena has the highest number of wickets this season. He bagged 10 wickets in 5 matches with a staggering 11.9 average and a strike rate of 11.4. His best figures (3-13) came against Puducherry. The Kerala off-spinner gave away 119 runs at an average Economy of just 6.26 RPO which goes on to show that it wasn’t easy enough for batsmen to pick him. Reason? His two variations – carrom ball and reverse carrom ball. He emulates the same grip for the reverse carrom ball which angles into a right-hand batsman, unlike the carrom balls which angle away. Saxena is good with the bat too and has 14 First Class centuries to his name.
#SyedMushtaqAliTrophy2021— Jalaj Saxena (@jalajsaxena33) January 31, 2021
It's very satisfying when you detach yourself from the results and continue to work hard on the carrom ball and the reverse carrom ball as a process. And it starts to give you outcomes. pic.twitter.com/T5inJfCR6s
Khrievitso Kense: The Nagaland teenager became the first ever player from his state to be called up by an IPL team for trials recently. The 16-year-old leg-spinner debuted for SMAT this season and impressed all with his consistency. In 4 matches, he picked up 7 wickets (average 12, SR 13.1) and gave away 84 runs at a miserly Economy Rate of 5.47 RPO (average). He returned his best figures of 3-16 against Mizoram.
Ankit Sharma: Ankit had been part of the IPL previously with Deccan Chargers, Sunrisers Hyderabad, Rajasthan Royals and Rising Pune Supergiants. He played from 2012-18 and then came an abrupt lull. His recent performances with the ball at SMAT may keep him in the reckoning this year in the auction. The talented left-arm orthodox bowler from Madhya Pradesh took 6 wickets in 5 matches at an average of 22.5. What makes Ankit stand out is his capacity to score quick runs. Each season he has played so far in IPL, he has maintained 100+ strike rate.
Baba Aparajith: He is one of those less-fortunate players in IPL who despite having five seasons with two different franchises, hasn’t made his IPL debut yet. He was part of Chennai for three years before being signed by Pune Supergiants. Aparajith hasn’t drawn any bid in three years now but he has regrouped and performed consistently in the domestic season. In SMAT, he was part of the winning Tamil Nadu team and had contributed 6 wickets in 7 matches with an average of 15.83. However, it’s his average Economy Rate of 5.83 RPO that remains the talking point.
Sagar Udeshi: The 34-year-old from Puducherry is again one of those bowlers who drew attention due to low Economy rate in the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy. The slow left-arm orthodox bowler picked up 6 wickets in 5 matches with an average Economy of just 5.63 RPO. In T20 cricket, to such economical figures certainly show his capacity to check crucial runs.