Former Pakistan cricketer Danish Kaneria believes that India missed a trick by not including a leg spinner in their WTC squad. The leg spinner admitted that India have selected a very strong squad but reckoned that including a leg spinner would have added another dimension to their squad.
India recently announced the squad for the England tour where they will first take on New Zealand in the summit clash of the World Test Championship before locking horns with England in a marquee five-match Test series.
“India has selected quite a strong team. Overall, their squad of is good. But the thing to note is that they have not selected a wrist spinner,” NDTV quoted Kaneria
“They have finger spinners, Ashwin, Washington Sundar, Akshar Patel and Ravindra Jadeja, but they don’t have a wrist spinner, a right arm leg spinner,” he added.
Kaneria who has played for Essex in County cricket said that the conditions in England are favourable for leg break bowlers.
“When you play in England, and I have a lot of experience playing their — eight years of county cricket in different conditions, there is moisture,” he said.
“When the season starts the county matches are going on and after that the sun comes out and the wicket gets baked and the moisture stays,” he added.
“Where there are seam conditions, a leg spinner is very useful and that’s why I had a successful tenure when I played county cricket. So, it is a little concerning that there is no leg spinner in the team,” he said.
“Finger spinners can contain but having finger spinner and a wrist spinner can make an impact on the team,” he added.
The 40 year old reckoned that Rahul Chahar would have been a very good option in these conditions. Chahar had a successful stint with Mumbai Indians in the 14th edition of the IPL before it was postponed.
“Rahul Chahar, his height, the way he delivers the ball, he should have been in the team. New Zealand has Ish Sodhi, a tall leg spinner and Virat Kohli always struggles against a leg spinner as we saw it with (Adam) Zampa,” Kaneria explained.
“So, I feel if there is place open for a leg spinner than Chahar, who has played for Mumbai Indians and India and has performed well, has googly, flipper and leg spin, could have been useful,” the leg-spinner said.
Kaneria, who has taken 261 wickets in 61 Tests for Pakistan said that India should call Rahul Chahar into the squad if any player is unable to travel to the UK. He added that New Zealand have plenty of right-handers and Chahar can be very effective against them.
“I think if a player is not able to travel, due to injury then Chahar should be an option to be flown with the Indian team to England. And on reaching there, whatever the situation is, the management can take a decision,” he added.
“Because it will be a different proposition for New Zealand also to face him. They have a lot of quality right handers, Kane Williamson, Martin Guptill, Ross Taylor. Because of the left arm spinners in the team, there will be a rough created and that will be useful for the right arm leg spinners,” he added.
India will go into the WTC final on back of solid performances against Australia and England. However, Kaneria said that Virat Kohli’s men cannot take New Zealand lightly as they too are a formidable side.
“India is playing good cricket, they have won series in Australia and then against England but NZ will not be an easy opponent as they are very tough in this type of condition where the ball seams. They have a very strong bowling line up,” he said.
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