Spinners will play a vital role in the forthcoming World T20 in England as they did in the Indian Premier League (IPL) where they were inventive and did not allow freebies to batsmen, feels former Pakistan captain Wasim Akram, He said Twenty20 requires a different set of skills and is a big test of a cricketer’s capability.
“In a short span of time, T20 cricket has become a different ball game. Now batsmen have realized that they cannot play big shots right through the innings. They have to plan their innings. They need to have different skills to make it in T20. Both the batsmen and the bowlers have to be inventive,” Akram said on the sidelines of an ESPN Sports event related to the T20 World Cup starting June 5.
“Spinners are going to play an important role as we saw in IPL, where they have been successful. Batsmen will find them difficult to handle,” said the former Pakistan captain.
Sanjay Manjerekar, who was also present on the occasion, seconded Akram’s view.
The former India player said that the skills required in Twenty20 format were closer to Test cricket.
“IPL in South Africa has tested the skills of a player like Test cricket. The opening edition was played in India where the pitches change only after 50 overs, so it made little difference. In South Africa it was different. With little bit of help from the surface, the spinners were unbeaten. Also you need certain amount of skills to slog a spinner. Good footwork and perception is necessary to attack spinners,” he said.
“When the Twenty20 World Cup was held last time, it was not as big as the 50 over World Cup. India were a hesitant participant. But two years later it has completely changed. Suddenly the importance of T20 has leapfrogged. It is the pinnacle of the game now.
“The unpredictability of T20 makes it exciting. Captains are still learning how to play. They are still working out their strategies,” said Manjerekar.
Manjerekar also said that the tournament will be more aggressive than IPL.
“There will be 11 international players and nation challenging against nation.”