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Thread: The Changing Role of Spin Bowlers

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    Cricketer Of The Year Manee's Avatar
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    The Changing Role of Spin Bowlers

    Spin bowlers pre-1990s tend to have much higher strike rates and much lower economy rates than spinners in today's game. At first, I thought that this was to do with the increasing pace of the bowlers, but I noticed that both Bishan Bedi (a slow spinner) and Derek Underwood (a quick spinner) have strike rates over 70 and economy rates under 2.15. Bhagwat Chandrasekhar breaks the trend with an economy of 2.70 and strike rate of 65.9, but even these are lower and higher respectively than my following two examples.

    Compare this to Harbhajan Singh who has a strike rate of 65.6 (economy rate of 2.83) and Anil Kumble who has a strike rate of 64.8 (economy rate of 2.83). The idea of spinners of the past being simply, better bowlers who pushed the batsman on the defensive is mooted by Muralitharan, who is clearly at least on par with the spinners of the past - he has a strike rate of 54.4 and economy rate of 2.41.

    What do you think is the cause of the increase in economy rate and decrease in strike rate of spin bowlers? Although uncovered pitches would create a lower economy rate of the more older bowlers, it would not account for those post the introduction of covered pitches nor should it increase the strike rate of the older bowlers, should it?
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    Global Moderator vic_orthdox's Avatar
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    Basically, it's attitude towards spinners (and bowlers in general). Early on, the idea is to take them on and not let them settle. Whereas batting attitudes used to be more about eliminating risk.

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    Cricketer Of The Year Manee's Avatar
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    How did this attitude develop and permeate through to international level though?

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    Warne also factors like Murali. They are just very special bowlers.

    The SR of all bowlers have fallen, not just spinners, over the decades and conversely their economy has risen.

    My own opinion, and a few others included, regard this due to the fact that batsmen are playing more shots with limited increased risk. This correlates well considering how much higher batting SRs have also become. It also explains, other than flat tracks, the slight increase in batting averages. This would also explain the increase in ER and the fall of SR.
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    Hall of Fame Member steds's Avatar
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    A large part of this has to be the way batsmen play spinners. Less happily padding up all day. Less likely to get away with padding upto the spinner. More quite dangerous shots (sweeps, etc.)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Manee View Post
    Spin bowlers pre-1990s tend to have much higher strike rates and much lower economy rates than spinners in today's game. At first, I thought that this was to do with the increasing pace of the bowlers, but I noticed that both Bishan Bedi (a slow spinner) and Derek Underwood (a quick spinner) have strike rates over 70 and economy rates under 2.15. Bhagwat Chandrasekhar breaks the trend with an economy of 2.70 and strike rate of 65.9, but even these are lower and higher respectively than my following two examples.

    Compare this to Harbhajan Singh who has a strike rate of 65.6 (economy rate of 2.83) and Anil Kumble who has a strike rate of 64.8 (economy rate of 2.83). The idea of spinners of the past being simply, better bowlers who pushed the batsman on the defensive is mooted by Muralitharan, who is clearly at least on par with the spinners of the past - he has a strike rate of 54.4 and economy rate of 2.41.

    What do you think is the cause of the increase in economy rate and decrease in strike rate of spin bowlers? Although uncovered pitches would create a lower economy rate of the more older bowlers, it would not account for those post the introduction of covered pitches nor should it increase the strike rate of the older bowlers, should it?

    I wouldn't be too concerned with those that drone on endlessly about uncovered wickets. The way some go on about it you would think that every time there was a cricket match there was automatically a downpour followed by a blazing sun leading to a spinner friendly wicket.

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    International Regular Beleg's Avatar
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    What do you think is the cause of the increase in economy rate and decrease in strike rate of spin bowlers?
    Decrease in strike-rate? What?

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    State Vice-Captain Debris's Avatar
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    This is pretty easily explained by the introduction of limited-overs cricket.

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    Hall of Fame Member honestbharani's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Debris View Post
    This is pretty easily explained by the introduction of limited-overs cricket.
    lol, I think all the responses above are quite right... All those are the reasons for the increase in ER and decrease in SR of spinners... I guess also the fact that umpires seem to be more happy giving out batsmen LBW even off the front foot. Someone like Kumble has REALLY benefitted from it but even guys like Kaneria, MacGill, Panesar etc. are getting the odd wicket this way too.
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    Cricket Web Staff Member Richard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lillian Thomson View Post
    I wouldn't be too concerned with those that drone on endlessly about uncovered wickets. The way some go on about it you would think that every time there was a cricket match there was automatically a downpour followed by a blazing sun leading to a spinner friendly wicket.
    You've lived in this country a while, I'm guessing.

    How often do you get a three\five-day cricket match, plus the couple of days before the game, without any rain? And how often do you need a very heavy downpour followed by blazing sun to make the wicket spin-friendly? Just a short sharp shower could easily do the job.
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    Cricket Web Staff Member Richard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Debris View Post
    This is pretty easily explained by the introduction of limited-overs cricket.
    No, more the development of it.

    Limited-overs cricket has been around since the 1960s. It's only since about 1990 or 1992 that it's been what we know it as today, however.

    Presumably this has infiltrated the way spinners are treated now, but fingerspin was generally pretty ineffective in the 1970s and 1980s too.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Richard View Post
    You've lived in this country a while, I'm guessing.

    How often do you get a three\five-day cricket match, plus the couple of days before the game, without any rain? And how often do you need a very heavy downpour followed by blazing sun to make the wicket spin-friendly? Just a short sharp shower could easily do the job.
    A short sharp shower does little for the spinners. The wicket becomes spin friendly after heavy rain followed by sun which makes it "sticky". It's the drying wicket after rain that helps the spinners, not just rain.

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    Cricket Web Staff Member Richard's Avatar
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    I know that, but ground does dry without sun on it - it just does it less quickly than it does when the sun comes straight out.

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    Hall of Fame Member honestbharani's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Manee View Post
    Spin bowlers pre-1990s tend to have much higher strike rates and much lower economy rates than spinners in today's game. At first, I thought that this was to do with the increasing pace of the bowlers, but I noticed that both Bishan Bedi (a slow spinner) and Derek Underwood (a quick spinner) have strike rates over 70 and economy rates under 2.15. Bhagwat Chandrasekhar breaks the trend with an economy of 2.70 and strike rate of 65.9, but even these are lower and higher respectively than my following two examples.

    Compare this to Harbhajan Singh who has a strike rate of 65.6 (economy rate of 2.83) and Anil Kumble who has a strike rate of 64.8 (economy rate of 2.83). The idea of spinners of the past being simply, better bowlers who pushed the batsman on the defensive is mooted by Muralitharan, who is clearly at least on par with the spinners of the past - he has a strike rate of 54.4 and economy rate of 2.41.

    What do you think is the cause of the increase in economy rate and decrease in strike rate of spin bowlers? Although uncovered pitches would create a lower economy rate of the more older bowlers, it would not account for those post the introduction of covered pitches nor should it increase the strike rate of the older bowlers, should it?
    Manee, btw, juz realized that what you have in your sig was Richard's first ever post in CW.... Great work digging that up..

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    Its not so simple as to have just one easy answer. There are many factors.

    Generally off spinners have 'worse' strike rates than leg spinners but the latter have worse economy rates

    The changes in LBW laws over time have had a big influence on strike rates of off spinners.

    In more recent times the off spinners have added the doosra which has increased the number of times they get people caught of the outside edge.

    In recent times, umpires have also become more prone to declare a batsman out LBW where they would have given the benefit of doubt on most occasions when the batsman stretched forward and took the ball on the pad.

    The last one has also helped bowlers like Kumble who bowl a lot of googlies and do not turn the ball away too much.

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