Wrist-spin — season’s flavour for CSK

Wrist spinners will be under sharp focus in the upcoming edition of the Indian Premier League. After all, they have been so influential in the shortest form of the game.

Karn Sharma at the Chepauk on Monday.   -  K. Pichumani

Wrist spinners will be under sharp focus in the upcoming edition of the Indian Premier League. After all, they have been so influential in the shortest form of the game.

These men attack the batsmen, flight the ball, spin it in the air and turn it off the surface. They are brave-hearted, lend much variety to the proceedings.

Chennai Super Kings has two international leg-spinners in its squad this season – South Africa’s Imran Tahir and Karn Sharma from India.

Tahir is expected to reach the city in the early hours of Tuesday while Karn has been slugging it out in the nets here. Both are familiar faces in the IPL, both have had plenty of moments to celebrate.

Even as Karn bowled here on Monday, a sizable crowd – the lower tiers of the ‘A’ and ‘B’ stands were almost full – cheered the CSK players on.

The chants from the spectators must have lifted the cricketers – there was an added edge to the session.

Although a leggie such as Samuel Badree has been among the wickets for the side in the past, R. Ashwin - now named captain of Kings XI Punjab – and Ravinda Jadeja, retained by CSK, had teamed up in a majority of victories for the franchise.

The team could depend a lot more on leg-spin this season. Two factors work in favour of this breed. Since they employ their wrist, these spinners are not dependent on pitches to extract turn off the pitch.

And given the presence of googly in their repertoire, can bowl to both the right and the left handed batsmen. While the surface at Chepauk is likely to assist spinners, Tahir and Karn could be effective away from home as well.

Tahir is not exactly young at 38 but is crafty and fit. He gives the ball air, dares the batsman, has an excellent wrong ‘un. There are days when he can be expensive, but he will also win you matches.

Tahir is a colourful personality, has an extended sprinting-towards-the-stands celebration. He does play with a lot of passion.

The much quieter Karn may not spin the ball as much as Tahir but is accurate and possesses a handy top-spinner. He gets the job done without fuss.

The duo could sting for CSK.