Great spectacle in a cricket game, though the batsman doesn’t see it at all. Amazing science, with a topping of art – popularly known as ‘leg spin’. Suddenly, the masters of this craft have gone missing. As I look around, I see some really good off spinners – (Saeed Ajmal and Graeme Swann in particular have managed to live up to the standards set by Murali, if not able to match him), and, some fine left-arm spinners too, sub-continent teams have a few of them. But, what I don’t see is a genuine leg break bowler who has the courage to flight it above batsmen’s eyes and land it in that ‘blind spot’.
Three men I miss in particular are the greats of our times, Shane Warne, Anil Kumble and Mushtaq Ahmed. While Anil was different in his approach being more of a finger spinner versus Warnie and Mushy who used wrist to create the magic, the fact is, all three were – DEADLY.
Skills of course, but more than that, the beauty of leg spin is in bowler’s attitude. A leg spinner is a tough nut and he is no less tough than a fast bowler. A fast bowler can still bowl a bouncer after being hit for six, a leg spinner cannot, BUT, a genuine leg spinner would flight the next one even more.
I am eagerly waiting for someone to arrive, because the game isn’t as lovely without an intrepid leggie. Imran Tahir, the South African of Pakistani origin is a potential case but he needs to negotiate the challenge of bowling to sub-continent batsmen in sub-continent before he claims any reputation, and that is some job, well, Warnie can tell you about his nightmares. That said, if such a leg spinner arrives, the world shall see batting techniques exposed and shall also know – who knows to bat!!!WW6PXY4QQTKV