When it comes to spinners, Indian cricket brags a rich history. From Erapalli Prasanna to Bishan Singh Bedi to Anil Kumble to R Ashwin to now Kuldeep Yadav… the list is endless. However, the legacy of Indian spinners faces a possible extinction, if former leg-spinner Laxman Sivaramakrishnan is to be believed. Siva, 54, feels there is a dearth of up-and-coming spinners in India and believes that besides the current crop of spinners, not too many names come to mind who can take the legacy of Indian spin bowling forward.
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Which is why Sivaramakrishnan feels the appointment of a spin bowling coach in India is the need of the hour. “I’ve been saying this for many years, the Indian team needs a spin-bowling coach. Kuldeep is not even playing for KKR regularly. Chahal had a bad tour of Australia. Jadeja is injured. Ashwin is 30-plus. Who is waiting in the wings to fill their boots? Who is pushing them for a place? Who is going to help Kuldeep and Chahal?” he told SportsKeeda.
“Teams like Bangladesh and England have spin-bowling coaches, and the BCCI needs to identify this. There are points involved in the ICC World Test Championship, and we need to win at home. The fast bowlers are reverse-swinging the ball, and you have a good set of fast bowlers right now. But after Ashwin and Jadeja in Test matches, and Chahal in T20s?”
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As mentioned, Siva’s concern stems from the fact that two of India’s premier wrist-spinners, Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal are battling poor form, while Ashwin, 34, who only plays Test cricket for India, doesn’t have many years left. Jadeja on the other hand is a brilliant left-arm spinner but he is not a specialised front-line spinner. As for Kuldeep, Siva reckons the chinaman bowler needs to be hit the ground running as early as possible.
“The reason they’re giving 375-380 runs is because of the middle overs, where the spinners are not able to control. I think the emphasis should be on spin-bowling, the revival of Kuldeep must be done at the earliest. You need to find another set of spinners who can come in,” the former leg-spinner pointed out.
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“It’s got to be a long process involving a lot of hard work. At the highest level, all teams will look at specialisation. England is one team that does that – they have 15 players and 21 support staff. They take people like Saqlain Mushtaq or Mushtaq Ahmed to coach their spinners.”