Spin played a big part in Sri Lanka winning the WT20 2014 in Bangladesh last year and this year again it is all set to play a huge role on the outcome of the matches. The Indian tracks are renowned for the assistance that can provide and Lankans will be looking to exploit the turn and variable bounce to spin a web around the opposition. They have picked up a veteran spinner, a spinner who is back after remodelling his action and a young leg spinner. Let us have a look at all three in detail and the impact that they will have on the ICC WT 20 2016.
Herath made his test debut way back in 1999 and I remember watching that game live on the television. He had a carrom ball back then but with Murli already in the side weaving his magic Herath was brushed aside in obscurity. It was when Murli retired that Sri Lanka went back to Herath and found that Herath had not lost his bite or guile. His ability to turn the ball from the stumps while at the same time cleverly varying his pace and flight along with using the bowling crease inventively has meant that he has been a leading spinner in world cricket since the last few years. He has bowled several magical spells that have turned the match on its head and he is a master of deception and slyness.
He has played just 9 T20I’s for Sri Lanka but has taken 12 wickets at a stunning economy rate of under 6 runs per over. Although he is primarily a test match bowler, who can forget his startling spell of 3.3-2-3-5 in the last WT20 against the Kiwi’s in a do or die match for the Lankans where he spun a web of magical left arm spin bowling them out for just 60. He also played a crucial role in the final match against the Indians bowling his 4 overs for just 23 runs while also bagging a wicket. If his creaky knees can allow him stand up for one last mega tournament for Sri Lanka, then he is bound to have a huge impact on the outcome of its result.
Impact Rating – 8.5/10
Senanayake was also a key member of the Sri Lankan side that won the WT20 the last time around but since then he has had to remodel his action after it was found to be illegal. He has lost the bite and is now visibly less effective but he has continued to perform in the Lankan domestic set-up thus earning a place in the 15 man squad for the Asia Cup T20I’s and the WT20.
Senanayake can bowl with the hard ball in the powerplay and is not overawed by the batsmen coming at him. He is also able to generate extra bounce because of his height which is difficult to deal with. In 86 T20 matches he has scalped 96 wickets while his economy rate of just around 6 runs per over is exceptional.
Impact Rating – 7/10
Vandersay is a leg break bowler who made his debut just last year. He did not have an exceptional Super T20 Provincial Tournament where he picked up just 2 wickets in the four matches that he played in. He was in the squad for the three T20I’s that Sri Lanka lost 1-2 against India but did not get a single game.
Impact Rating – 4/10