Leg spinners are a rare breed. It’s a trade that is tough to master and hence is taken up by only a select few. This style of bowling requires immense control, precision and great amount of patience. And probably that is why leg spinners are one of the most respected cricketers around.
Clarrie Grimment, Bhagwath Chandrasekhar, Richei Benaud, Bill O’Reilly, Abdul Qadir, Anil Kumble, Shane Warne are some of the leg spinning legends in the history of the world cricket.
One of the main reasons behind the success of this bowling style, is the amount of turn and spin leg spinners can derive irrespective of the nature of the pitch. Leg spinners always get great amount of spin and turn as compared to finger spinners. Another factor that plays a huge part in making leg spinners successful is the amount of bounce. The Leg spinners bowl with a lower trajectory as compared to the finger spinners. They have a slightly round-arm action due to which they are able to extract more side spin on the ball and less bounce by default. As there is lack of bounce the batsman cannot get under the ball which takes aerial shots out of the equation and this is the main reason behind the success of wrist spinners in the shorter format of the game.
The game of cricket has evolved over time and so has the batsman’s approach. The game has gotten faster and thus against most bowlers the batsmen tend to watch the ball off the pitch and not off the bowler’s hand. Reflexes have gone up and so more often than not the batsman trust their ability to judge which way the ball is moving from judging it off the pitch, something that doesn’t quite work when playing against leg spinners. The seam position used by leg spinners these days does not help the batsman to pick it off the pitch and thus a lot of them have to adjust their game plan and pick the ball off the bowler’s hand. Adjusting to this new game plan takes some time and hence lets leg spinners dominate the batsman.
Also, while the tradition leg spinner does not bounce much, the googly rises on the batsmen, and hits him high on the bat, whenever he is attempting to hit the ball out of the gound. So, it is either that the batsman can’t get under the ball or whenever he does get under it, the ball hits him too high on the bat.
Also, the fact that most of the batsmen are right handed and have to play the ball that will be turning against them(as most of the leg spinners are right handed as well) makes it tad bit difficult to score of them and it goes against the normal motion for a right handed batsman. But the left handers look to feast on these leg spinners
It is an advantage to the leggie as he has got different varieties of deliveries like the flipper, top spin, googly, the quicker ones. The batsman cannot predict and he has to go just by his instincts.
Imran Tahir, Samuel Badree and Adam Zampa are amongst the top wicket takers in the IPL this season, and as it is so difficult to get them away, you can count on them to give you economical overs as well