The impact of spinners in the ongoing second phase of Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021 in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) is visible to everyone. The slow tracks in Dubai, Sharjah and Abu Dhabi have tempted franchises to pick more than one spinner in their respective playing XIs, and the move has certainly worked as batters from all teams have found it a bit challenging to tackle the tweakers.
The likes of Yuzvendra Chahal, Rashid Khan, Varun Chakravarthy, Rahul Chahar, Axar Patel, Sunil Narine, Ravindra Jadeja, Ravi Bishnoi, Ravichandran Ashwin have all impressed in the UAE leg of IPL 2021.
When it comes to matches in the Gulf nation this year, Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) ‘s senior bowler Chahal is the leading wicket-taker amongst spinners. The leggie has taken 10 wickets in five games at an economy of 5.94. Second on the list is Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) star spinner Chakravarthy. The mystery tweaker has bagged 8 scalps in six games.
But who has been the most impressive spinner in the UAE leg? Well, former international cricketers Ashish Nehra and Shaun Pollock have named their choices.
Nehra went with veteran KKR bowler Narine, stating the Caribbean spinner did lose his majestic touch in recent times but has got the momentum again in the second phase of IPL 2021.
“There are so many big names in IPL like Rashid Khan, Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja, but one name that comes to my mind who has shown the utmost improvement is Sunil Narine. He is a veteran bowler who has ruled IPL over the years, but he lost his magic in the recent past. However, he is again at his best which has helped KKR dominate the proceedings in the tournament. He has carried forward the CPL form and has been the biggest plus for KKR in the UAE leg,” Nehra told Cricbuzz.
Pollock, on the other hand, picked Chahal as the player who has impressed him the most. The former South Africa captain termed Chahal as the key performer for RCB, who made a brilliant comeback after a poor first half in India.
“My favourite spinner in the UAE leg is Yuzi (Yuzvendra) Chahal. I think he’s been the one who has impressed me the most for a couple of reasons. I think he has been such a key performer for RCB over the years. He wasn’t at his best at the start of the tournament, and since he has come back, he’s started to find his own rhythm and his performance and confidence,” said Pollock.
Pollock also mentioned Chahal’s absence from India’s T20 World Cup squad, stating that it could destroy anybody’s confidence, but the leg-spinner rose above all that and performed well in the UAE leg.
“He is such a big player for them (RCB), obviously not being selected in certain teams makes it difficult and damages the confidence, but he has risen above all that, and I love to see that in a player,” added Pollock.