Saqlain: Easier now for spinners
MIRPUR – A lack of strategy in batting against spin has contributed to slow-bowling success at the World Twenty20, says former Pakistan off-spinner Saqlain Mushtaq.
“The tactics are changing and the batsmen don’t seem to have the kind of strategy they used to have to face spin bowling,” said Saqlain, a spin consultant for the West Indies team, on Monday.
“I feel the mentality of spinners has changed and they are also getting help from pitches here.”
Saqlain is seen as an important member of the team management for defending champions West Indies, who have done well in the conditions to emerge as one of the top contenders.
Saqlain is credited with inventing the “doosra”, or the off-spinner’s concealed away-going delivery. He said the shortest format of the game was now settling well, with both fast and slow bowlers finding success.
“I feel the format is now more balanced. There are fast bowlers like Bhuvneshwar Kumar of India, Umar Gul of Pakistan and Krishmar Santokie of the West Indies who are doing well here. Spinners are, of course, getting wickets and it’s up to the batting coaches to think, try to bring in something to counter spinners,” Saqlain added.
Saqlain praised the Indian pair of leg-spinner Amit Mishra and off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin, who have bagged two Man Of The Match awards each to help the 2007 champions complete four straight wins.
“They’re bowling with great control. If you see, nine of the top 10 bowlers in T20 rankings are spinners and we’ve the top two spinners in our team,” he said in reference to off-spinner Sunil Narine and leg-spinner Samuel Badree.
Prior to yesterday’s match, the 37-year-old Saqlain, who bagged 208 wickets in 49 Tests and 288 in 169 one-day internationals, fancied defending champions, West Indies’ chances against Pakistan.
“We’ve some good spinners, but I’d still expect the whole team to back them and it’s not just the spinners who’ll always win you matches,” said Saqlain, who was the fastest in the world to take 100 ODI wickets but never played Twenty20 internationals. (AP)