5 Leg-Spinners who can replace the Kulcha pair

Having dominated world cricket after their debut in 2018, the famous spin twins, Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal have slowly gone off the radar and the situation at the moment looks completely against them playing together. India’s fragile tail and thus, lack of lower-order contributions has forced the selectors to break them apart and play only one of them. It is the same aspect which has helped Jadeja remain in the limited-overs scheme of things for India, who is not just a 10-overs bank but contributes crucial runs coming lower down. His impact has been so massive that the Indian management now considers him as their preferred finisher along with Hardik. Being a gun-fielder does help and that sees Jadeja get the nod of the selectors over all others.

Jadeja, unfortunately, hasn’t been among the wickets in the white-ball formats and that has augmented the woes for India bowling in the middle overs. Both Chahal and Kuldeep have been ineffective with the ball in recent times, leaking plenty of runs in their allotted quota of overs. This has compelled the selectors to search for other wicket-taking options, preferably a wrist-spinner who could take the ball away from the batsmen and make run-scoring one heck of a task. In the below piece, we look at 5 such leg-spinners who can replace the ‘Kulcha’ pair in the line-up:

1. Shreyas Gopal

This wily spinner from Karnataka has spun a web around batsmen in the domestic circuit as well as the IPL. His rub of green over RCB’s star batsmen, Kohli and de Villiers is well documented and teams do devise special plans to counteract his threat.

In 45 IPL games, Gopal has dismissed 48 batsmen at an average of 24.25 and economy rate of 7.85. There is some sort of deceptiveness in his wrist spin, who bamboozles the batsmen with his vicious googlies, either cleaning them up or trapping them in front of wickets.

If the selectors think of doing away with either of Chahal or Kuldeep, Gopal has to be the first choice to replace them, who will definitely make the batsmen dance to his spin tune.

2. Ravi Bishnoi

The highest wicket-taker at the U-19 World Cup held this year, Bishnoi has come a long way in his cricketing career. It was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for the youngster to learn some spin traits from the master, Anil Kumble himself, who was the head coach of KXIP.

Featuring in all 14 games, Bishnoi scalped 12 wickets at an average of 31.33 and economy rate of 7.37. Skipper Rahul did a fantastic job by bestowing him with the faith to bowl his desired lengths and give the ball plenty of flight to entice the batsmen.

Some of those deliveries did add up as extra runs or were punished severely, but many times, they resulted in crucial wickets, turning the momentum other way round. There is no doubt that he will turn out to be a huge success playing for India replacing Kuldeep chahal pair.

3. Rahul Tewatia

One of the highlights of IPL 2020, who contributed with both bat and ball and assisted RR in winning games from seemingly improbable situations. He was indeed a surprise entry in the combined XI for IPL 2020, who edged past many greats of the game to secure his spot.

Tewatia slammed 255 runs from 14 games at an average of 42.50 and a phenomenal strike rate of 139.31 and picked 10 wickets at an average of 32.60 and economy rate of 7.08.

He is a very canny leg-spinner, who turns the ball viciously either away or into the batsmen. His tight lines often make it difficult for batsmen to free their arms and hence they are more susceptible to getting out.

4. Rahul Chahar

By far the no.1 spinner in the MI set-up, Chahar has carved a unique niche for himself in the star-studded MI line-up. Skipper Rohit used him as a wicket-taking option, who got the prized scalp in the middle overs and changed the course of the game. Chahar has picked 15 wickets from 15 games at an average of 28.86 and economy rate of 8.16. He used the bowling crease to good effect, delivering the ball from wide or closer to the stump.

Quite often, we saw him coming from across the stumps and bowling his variations to fox the batsmen. While the move appeared intimidating which halted the batsmen from resorting to their dreadful intentions, it did pan out the other way round sometimes.

Skipper Kohli, who himself embraces risk-taking as a route to success, will be overly happy by Chahar’s addition and together they would wreak havoc in the opposition camp.

5. Praveen Dubey

Having made his IPL debut in the recently concluded season, Dubey procured some invaluable experience playing for DC and picked the brains of few stalwarts of the game.

Unfortunately, he couldn’t pick any wickets in the 3 matches that he played, but his domestic T20 record which won him the contract is encouraging from a spinner’s perspective. He has scalped 16 wickets from 17 games at an average of 23.62 and economy rate of 7.2

An injury to Amit Mishra has what made his most awaited debut possible, and he will keep getting better from here on. At the moment, he isn’t in the race for the spinner’s spot in the Indian team, but just like his unforeseen IPL debut, things can change drastically and pave the way for him to play at the highest level, allowing him to leave his stellar mark replacing Kuldeep Chahal pair.

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