Importance of Leg-Spinners in IPL and a look at the top three leg spinners to watch out

rashid-khan.jpeg'Things which are in rarity are always precious and in cricket, we call them as Leg spinners. Over the last two decades, the game has seen a drastic change and to be fair, it has become batsman-friendly, leaving bowlers with shorter boundaries, flat pitches and free-hits.

In a format where you get only four overs to make an impression, the game looks crueller as a bowler. When fast bowlers and off-spinners look bereft of answers to some monstrous hitting, a captain looks for something rare and at the same time threatening. He looks for leg-spinners.


Leg-spinners, who at one point were becoming a non-entity, until Shane Warne came onto the scene, are today considered indispensable. Owing to their wicket-taking abilities, Leg-spinners are the most in-demand commodities in the shortest format of cricket.

Given, the leg-spinner is very less in numbers as compared to fast bowlers and off-spinners, they are always in priority.

“Leg-spin is by far the hardest thing to do in cricket. The skill level is above and beyond anything else. It is just too hard to be consistent.” Graeme Swann once said.

And when you have a whole lot of variations in your armoury besides the leg-break, you become threatening and in a format such a T20, one needs such bowlers who can bamboozle batsmen, who can create pressure, and, most importantly, can pick wickets.

The impact of leg-spinners in the T20 format can be measured through their numbers in the World’s biggest T20 franchise tournament, Indian Premier League.

40-year old, Imran Tahir was the highest wicket-taker last season with 26 wickets in 17 games, while Yuzvendra Chahal and Rashid Khan were second and third best spinners, clearly leg-spinners over-shadowing off-spinners and left-arm orthodox.

This has been the story for the last 4-5 seasons in case you think 2019 was a fluke. Indian Premier League has also been credited for unleashing some terrific leg-spinners, be it Yuzvendra Chahal, Kuldeep Yadav or Mayank Markande to name a few.

In the 2018 edition of IPL, leg spinners produced almost double the number of wickets taken by off-spinners. Rashid Khan was the second-highest wicket-taker in 2018, the first being a medium-fast bowler. The Afghanistan spinner took 21 wickets in 24 matches he played that season.

Yuzvendra Chahal wreaked havoc in 2016 edition, becoming the most-successful spinner with 21 wickets in 13 matches at an average of just 19.09.

With that, let’s take a look at three leg-spinners to watch out for this season:

1. Imran Tahir


Imran Tahir’s career started quite late, however, didn’t take too long to make rapid strides in his career. The veteran leg-spinners have played a host of T20 domestic leagues, such as Indian Premier League, Pakistan Super League, Caribbean Premier League to name a few. The South African spinner was the leading wicket-taker in the previous season of Indian Premier League, picking 26 wickets at an average of 16.57. With the age not on his side, it would be interesting to see if he would be able to replicate his performance in IPL.

2. Yuzvendra Chahal

yuzvendra chahal

A smart-street cricket, Yuzvendra Chahal boasts of quite an impressive record in IPL. Playing for RCB, he claimed 18 wickets in the last season at an average of 21.44. Chahal has been one of the vital cogs for RCB over the years and will have a major responsibility on his shoulder to help his side lift the maiden title.

3. Rashid Khan


With no less than 5 different kinds of variations, apart from the leg-cutters, Rashid Khan is one bowler every team would want to have in the shortest format of the game. Khan has been one of the most successful bowlers for SRH. He has appeared in 46 games for SRH and has picked 55 wickets in his IPL career. Given his current form and vast experience in the shortest format of the game, Rashid should be one to watch out for ahead of the thirteenth season of Indian Premier League.