India could have picked a legspinner, feels Chandu Borde

Former India captain Chandu Borde, a former legspinner himself, has pointed out that the Indian squad does not have a legspinner. All other teams possess at least one such spinner for the tournament.

Amit Mishra is the legspinner chosen by India in Test matches.   -  R. V. Moorthy

The Indian team, with a settled combination, is undoubtedly favourite to win the ICC World T20 at home but former captain and former chief selector Chandu Borde feels that they could have kept options open to pick up a legspinner.

“It’s always advantageous if you have a legspinner in the side. Our wickets help legspinners quite a bit as well as offspin. 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.

> Sachin Tendulkar impressed by M. S. Dhoni's upbeat mindset in his batting, praises the spinners in India's squad.

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 plays Amit Mishra, who was a part of the 2014 World T20 team. But Mishra has drawbacks: not only is his fielding not upto the standards, he is slower through the air, which makes him predictable.

A legspinner’s effectiveness was shown on Saturday 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 Kiwis — who were going at 11 an over — were restricted to 169 which England later overhauled.

Moreover, >Sachin Tendulkar on Sunday said that Rashid could be effective if he varies the pace of his deliveries.

Legspinners plently

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 legspinner in their 15.

Even Afghanistan, which has qualified for the Super 10 with an all-win record from Group B, has got not one but two such bowlers in Rashid Khan and Samiullah Shenwari. Pakistan is led by the unpredictable but dangerous Shahid Afridi, a fine legspin exponent and an explosive batsman.

Australia has brought Adam Zampa, though it has one in captain Steve Smith who started off as a legspinner before becoming one of its top batsmen. West Indies, the most unpredictable of unpredictable teams, has also included Samuel Badree while Sri Lanka has roped in rookie Jeffrey Wandersay.

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 March 15 at the VCA Stadium in Jamtha.