West Indies’ former leg-break bowler Samuel Badree has picked India’s Ravichandran Ashwin among the spinners to watch out for in the T20 World Cup.
The showpiece, to be held in the UAE and Oman, starts from Sunday with the preliminary round matches.
Badree, who was known more his accuracy than for turning the ball, took 187 wickets in competitive T20 cricket, including 56 from 52 internationals.
“When it comes to the best spinner at the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup, it’s hard to look past Tabraiz Shamsi,” Badree wrote in a column for the ICC.
“The South African is ranked No.1 in the MRF Tyres ICC Men’s T20I Player Rankings for a reason and as a left-armer, he poses a significant challenge for batters.
“Left-arm wrist spinners are rare in international cricket — he’s very consistent, can turn the ball both ways and has tremendous control.”
He was impressed by the way the South African spinner bowled in the West Indies during their last tour there.
“I saw him recently in the Caribbean when South Africa played the West Indies and he was able to spin webs around the West Indian batters.
“I see him playing a major role for his team with the ball – he has the ability to bowl in different phases of the game, too, which is important.
His captain Temba Bavuma will be able to call on him to deliver at any time in the innings and that’s worth its weight in gold.”
Badree also picked veteran India off-spinner Ashwin as one of the tweakers to watch out for in the showpiece.
“In terms of other spinners, Ravichandran Ashwin is of course there for India. He has that experience; he’s played for quite a long time now.
“Australia can bowl Adam Zampa and Ashton Agar in tandem and they have done well bowling together in the recent past.”
Spin however is one of the weak points for defending champions West Indies, according to Badree.
“Most of the teams have quality spinners in their ranks – at least two of them, because of the conditions teams predict that they will face. They can all win games single-handedly.
“That said, if there’s one area of the West Indies team that I’m worried about, it’s the spin department. It’s an area of shortcoming for them.
“They have the one frontline spinner, Hayden Walsh, who had an exceptional home series quite recently. He didn’t have a good Caribbean Premier League and going into this tournament, his form is not the best and his confidence might not be the best.
“He is quality enough to do well in the tournament, but outside of him, there aren’t any out-and-out spinners. Being able to take wickets throughout the innings is so important.”