The intention of the Indian team management to concentrate on wrist spin rather than finger spin is now obvious. Ravi Ashwin for long the side’s premier spin bowler is not in the ODI squad that is currently playing in New Zealand. Ravindra Jadeja who in Ashwin’s absence became the No 1 spinner did not figure in the playing eleven for the first game against the Kiwis. Two specialist spinners were picked and both were wrist spinners. That they were highly successful indicates that in future too it is likely that wrist spin will be playing a major role while finger spinners could be relegated to the background.
It is always interesting to see wrist spinners in action. For one thing they are generally attacking bowlers willing to buy their wickets. While they are prone to send down loose deliveries which the batsman can take advantage of but they are also capable of bowling the really unplayable ball that leaves the batsman totally flummoxed. And when the two bowlers are as different in their methods as Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav things are bound to get really exciting for the viewers.
Not so for the Kiwis as we saw on Wednesday. They just had no clue to the assorted bag of tricks that the two unleashed on them with the result that they accounted for six batsmen. The orthodox leg spinner and the unorthodox chinaman bowler have struck up a splendid combination and that is good news for the Indian team with just about four months left for the World Cup in England.
In addition to the copious turn and the variety of their deliveries both Chahal and Kuldeep adhere to the basics of line and length which make them really difficult to negotiate. Also they are both thinking bowlers and the best example of this was Chahal’s dismissal of Ross Taylor. The Kiwi is highly experienced and one of the best players of spin bowling. But Chahal foxed him with a ball that dipped and Taylor already committed to the front foot only succeeded in giving him a return catch.
Indeed it can be said that the duo have already obtained a psychological advantage over the Kiwi batsmen and unless Kane Williamson and company make a deep study of the bowlers and are able to fathom what they are sending down it will be difficult for New Zealand to come back in the series.