When looking to define a quality spinner we need to consider two aspects......................
1) They need to be skilful in the sense that there has to be the threat of some mystery and uncertainty attached to their bowling.
2) They have to be able to make an impact and the ability to dominate and turn the tables ie spinning a side to victory in the last innings of a test match or picking up some astonishing figures like 6-45 in which us bloggers have something to write home about.
Saqlain , Muhsy and Warne were ideal examples of a quality product in which they had the skills and self determination to change the outcome of a game.
Danish Kaneria may have had 200 + wickets next to his name but what really matters inside is how many times had Kaneria been able to dominate proceedings and turn a match on it’s head because many of the wickets Kaneria captures arrive in meaningless circumstances ie 4-175 . He seems to be more of a container than a wicket taker as his poor average and strike rate has shown. No wonder people are losing patience and trust in him. He ticks the first category of being skilful for certain but hasn’t got the mental ego to dominate in the same manner as Shane Warne and be able to change the outcome of a match.
Alternatively Imran Tahir is an excellent prospect. He is not only more mysterious in terms of having a better leg break , vicious googly and some of his own inventions but has the ability to turn the tables and dominate proceedings like a true “matchwinner” . In fact the amount of first class records were Tahir has been able to turn the tables and claim astonishing figures is uncountable. This highlights the vivid impact spinners can bring to a team and clarifies the difference between a quality and average spinner.
Generally speaking Tahir is a true pleasure to watch in the county arena. There are shades of Abdul Qadir in his cunning approach to the wicket and the way he can bamboozle batsmen with his magic is an admirable art. However, he seems to be unable to play for Pakistan due to him spending majority of his time in Southafrica and England which is a real pity as in my opinion he was the best spinner Pakistan has had in the locker since Mushtaq Ahmed . But he has set his desires on playing for Southafrica and all the best for him.
Not trying to be biased to Sialkot but talking from a technical quality perspective I recommend Mansoor Amjad and Abdul Rehman for the national side. Yasir Shah seems to an interesting prospect but from the little I’ve seen from him he seems to be another “Kaneria”. The offspinner Ajamal seemed to be another fascination but was highly ineffective in the 10 odd ODI matches he’s played. Usman Qadir has been tipped for the next Warne in international cricket but 5 years or so will have to be awaited for his arrival. But one thing has to be established for certain and that is Pakistan must utilise at least 1 specialist in every format because specialists are the ones who are claimed to be “matchwinners” not bits and bobs like Malik and Afridi etc.
8 years ago