Nagpur: Indian team, with a settled combination are undoubtedly favourites to win the ICC World T20 at home but former captain and chief selector Chandu Borde feels that they could have kept options open to pick up a leg-spinner.
"It's always advantageous if you have a leg-spinner in the side. Our wickets help leg-spinners quite a bit as well as off spin. One has to be careful while hitting against the spin but how much can you experiment in T20s," Borde, who has also been a chief national selector, told PTI on Sunday.
For India, who have all their bases covered, the problem of not picking any wrist spinner is because the cupboard is bare. In Tests, India play Amit Mishra, who was a part of the 2014 World T20 team but Mishra has serious drawbacks. Not only is his fielding not upto the standards, he is slower through the air which makes him predictable.
A leg-spinner's effectivity was shown yesterday by England’s Adil Rashid, who arrested a belligerent New Zealand from running away with the warm-up game at the Wankhede Stadium with a three-wicket burst.
The Bradford-born spinner dismissed rival captain Kane Williamson. Thanks to this triple strike, the — who were going at 11 an over — were restricted to 169 which England later overhauled.
In fact Sachin Tendulkar on Sunday said that Rashid could be effective if he varies the pace of his deliveries. Later on the same day, South Africa’s Imran Tahir bamboozled India's splendid player against spin and pace — Ajinkya Rahane —with a googly and cleaned him out.
A look at the other major teams who are leading contenders for the title shows that they all have included a right arm leg-spinner in their 15.
Even Afghanistan, who have qualified for the Super 10 with an all-win record from Group B, have got not one but two such bowlers in Rashid Khan and Samiullah Shenwari. Pakistan are led by the unpredictable but dangerous Shahid Afridi, a fine leg-spin exponent and an explosive batsman.
Australia have brought Adam Zampa, though they have one in captain Steve Smith who started off as a leg spinner before
becoming one of their top batsmen.
West Indies, the most unpredictable of unpredictable teams, have also included Samuel Badree while Sri Lanka have roped in rookie Jeffrey Vandersay.
Will India regret for not including a leg-break bowler will be known as the tournament’s second phase — the Super 10 stage — gets under way here on 15 March at the VCA Stadium in Jamtha.