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Thursday, December 01 2022

Leg-spinners are game-changers; every team needs to have them: Imran Tahir

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Colombo: South African cricketer Imran Tahir has said that leg-spinners are game-changers and every team needs to have a good crop of them in order to succeed domestically, internationally or in various lucrative leagues around the world.

The Protea leg-spinner, who has so far taken four wickets in four matches for the Dambulla Giants in the Lanka Premier League, added that he is enjoying sharing his knowledge and skills with youngsters in the competition.

“The art of leg-spin is a very exciting part of cricket. A leg-spinner can pick up two-three wickets in the middle and that’s very effective. Each team needs to have a good crop of leg-spinners as they are seen as game-changers. Even if you look at the top T20I bowlers in the ICC (International Cricket Council) rankings, it’s dominated by leg-spinners.

“The top five in the list — Wanindu Hasaranga, Tabraiz Shamsi, Adam Zampa, Adil Rashid and Rashid Khan — are all leg-spinners. The game of cricket has changed over the years and it’s great to see leg-spinners performing well all over the world,” said Tahir, who has played 20 Tests, 107 ODIs and 38 T20Is.

Tahir added that the youngsters need to learn how to be successful in T20 cricket.

“The youngsters need to know how one can bowl really well in the T20 format by using pace, variations and different grips. We’ve got some really talented off-spinners (in Dambulla Giants) and they bowl really well and we’ve got leg-spinners in our team as well. I am trying to help them as much as I can.

“I get a lot of joy from sharing my knowledge with youngsters. If they come and ask me something, then I feel it’s my duty to share my knowledge with them and I want to make a difference. The Lanka Premier League has provided a great platform for the local talent to showcase their skills. Players like Wanindu Hasaranga have gone on to become one of the most sought-after players in franchise leagues around the world,” said the leg-spinner, who has taken 424 wickets in 338 T20 matches.

Dambulla Giants’ leg-spinner Madushan Ravichandrakumar said he is looking to learn a lot from Tahir during the Lanka Premier League.

“He is my role model. When I used to watch his matches, I used to eagerly wait for him to come on to bowl to learn from him. He has a lot of variations such as leg-spin, googly, flipper, top spin and his own kind of variations so I am trying to learn those from him. He opens his heart and he is always honest with his bowling and he is a great person to learn from. He’s a good mentor,” said Ravichandrakumar.

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