Spinners are expected to dominate the ICC World Twenty20 in India as the Indian pitches will surely aid them in getting turn and as the tournament goes on, the pitches will wear out and tire, further assisting the slower bowlers and making spin bowling a huge factor in the mega event. Pakistan have picked a strong pace bowling unit for the event but their spin bowling department lacks the bite as they have opted to place their faith in part timers rather than go for a specialist spinner.
Shahid Afridi, at 36 years of age is still the greatest crowd puller that Pakistan has ever produced. Call him whatever you like – a mindless slogger, a showman, an inspirational leader or just a freak – one thing is for certain, Afridi has always played the game will all his heart and though he may have done a bit better if he had utilized his brain too but that is just pure conjecture on our part.
In addition to being the captain of the Pakistan team, he will be leading the Pakistani spin bowling attack as their premier spin bowler. He has all the variations in his armoury; a big turning leg break, dangerous googly, a deadly faster one and when all is combined with the natural drift that he so easily seems to achieve, he becomes a viable threat to any batsman facing up to him.
He is also capable of winning them matches with his authoritative batting, which is audacious and nerve-tingling to say the least. He was their star performer in 2009 when Pakistan went on to win the World T20 in England, putting in stellar performances with both the bat and the ball in the knock out phase. He is certainly their most impact player and if he gets in his groove early, then he surely will make Pakistan rock!!
Impact Rating – 8/10
Imad Wasim is a slow left arm bowler who is also a capable middle order batsman. He made his debut just last year and impressed me with some very good performances against the Sri Lankan side. He has played 8 T20I’s for Pakistan and has an impressive economy rate of just about 6 runs per over while also striking the ball at an impressive strike rate that is touching 160.
Impact Rating – 5/10
Mohammad Nawaz has been a revelation in the ongoing PSL where he has bowled several match turning spells with his slow left arm orthodox bowling. He is also a handy lower order batsman who can score runs if needed by the team. Although he only has 17 wickets in 31 T20 matches but his economy rate of less than 7 is much more eye catching.
Impact Rating – 4/10
With Yasir Shah out for 4 months for a doping offence and Hafeez banned from bowling due to an illegal action, Pakistan has lost two genuine spin bowling options and hence opted to go in without any specialist spinner in their squad. They will be banking on their Fantastico captain and eccentric leg spinner Shahid Afridi to carry the spin bulk-load on his shoulders and lead them to glory.