The high voltage Indian Premier League is gearing up to roll out on April 7 with eight teams battling it out in sixty matches to become the champions of the eleventh edition.
Over the course of IPL history, there are many strategies which teams have employed to emerge victorious. One such has been the use of spinners on the low and turning tracks of the Indian subcontinent. The spinners have come to the party in the IPL and have been the cutting edge for many champion sides in winning the coveted trophy.
Since the inception of the IPL, spinners have played a dominant role in churning out wins for their teams by picking up heaps of wickets. The IPL has been graced by some world class spinners all through its history. In the first few seasons, spin legends- Shane Warne, Muttiah Muralitharan and Anil Kumble bamboozled the best of batsmen with their craft.
While Warne and Murali cast a web by turning the red cherry toppings on placid tracks, our very own 'Jumbo' Anil Kumble deceived the batsman with his deceptively quick top spinners and flippers.
The 'turbanator' Harbhajan Singh became the frontline spinner for the Mumbai Indians by choking the runs for the opposition with his turn and bounce. 'Bhajji' outwitted the batsmen with his surprise weapon-the 'Doosra', the off-spinner that turns the other way. Meanwhile, left arm spinner Pragyan Ojha bowled many economical spells for the Mumbai Indians and Deccan Chargers in his IPL stint.
It, however, was MS Dhoni who got the best out of his spin armory as the skipper of the highly successful Chennai Super Kings team. Dhoni made CSK an impregnable force on their home turf at Chennai by out spinning most of their opponents.
Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja were the spin twins who ran through batting lineups with ease with their spin magic. While Ashwin had a bagful of variations including the carom ball, Jadeja bowled an immaculate line to tighten the grip around the opposition.
Shadab Jakati was another effective spinner in his own merit making major breakthroughs for the 'Whistle Poddu' team. CSK also had the services of West Indian Samuel Badree who did a decent job opening the bowling in the powerplays.
The Royal Challengers Bangalore team which has has been known to be batting heavy had their share of quality spinners. First, it was the Kiwi offie Daniel Vettori who scalped many a batsman with his subtle change in flight. In recent seasons, the Virat Kohli-led team had a rising star in Yuzvendra Chahal who has been consistently among the wickets with his leggies.
Kolkata Knight Riders have been lucky to have the services of West Indian Sunil Narine who has arguably been the best overseas spinner in the league. Narine bowls a tight line and turns the ball just enough to trouble the best in the business.
He has been smartly used as a run choker by Gautam Gambhir in the slog overs. The purple brigade was served well by Indian leggie Piyush Chawla who foxed many customers with his googlies.
Seasoned campaigner Amit Mishra has been the most lethal spinner for Delhi Daredevils and Sunrisers Hyderabad in their IPL campaigns over the last couple of seasons.
'Mickey' has been the spearhead of their spin attack, scalping many batsmen his uncanny flight and natural drift through the air. Mishra is also the only spinner to take three hat-tricks in the IPL.
There have been many more spinners who have left an impression on the IPL by scalping wickets for their sides. Some of the notable mentions are Shakib Al Hassan, Karn Sharma, Murali Karthik, Pravin Tambe and Axar Patel.